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Gopher Sports: Weekend Preview

It’s another busy weekend with some sports ending and some just beginning

Harrison Barden—Gophersports.com

Ahh March is here. While the madness is just beginning for some sports who are seeing their seasons come to a rapid close, it is also the start of spring and with that more of the spring sports. The last major spring sport at the U kicks off on Friday as the Gopher baseball team will make their 2021 debut. This schedule is missing the Gopher volleyball series at Ohio State which has been postponed due to COVID issues in the Minnesota program. Here is a weekend schedule for you and how to catch all the action via TV or streams if available.

Friday March 5th

Men’s Swimming and Diving—Big Ten Championships—Columbus, Ohio 10:00 AM

Day 4 of the 2021 Men’s Big Ten swimming and Diving Championships is on Friday at Ohio State. Through the first three days of the meet the Gophers sit in ninth place. The Gophers best chance at an individual event title will come Friday night when 2020 Big Ten Champion Max McHugh will swim in the 100 breastroke finals. Prelims begin at 10:00AM with the finals kicking off at 5:30 PM and will stream on BTN+.

Women’s Gymnastics vs Nebraska—Maturi Pavilion 2:00 PM

The Gopher women’s gymnastics team will celebrate senior day and honor a quintet of seniors that have meant so much to this program in their Big Ten regular season home finale against Nebraska Friday afternoon. The #5 ranked Gophers will honor Lexi Montgomery, Hannah Wilmarth, Mary Kolin-Downs, Ona Loper and Lexy Ramler.

The Gophers moved to #5 in the national rankings after their win at the Big 5 meet last weekend at Maryland. Ramler set a new school record score of 39.850 with the help of a perfect 10 on the vault.

The meet will begin at 2:00 PM and will stream live on BTN+.

Women’s Tennis vs Maryland—Baseline Tennis Center 3:00 PM

The Gopher women’s tennis team will look to pick up it’s first win of the season when they host Maryland at 3PM on Friday afternoon. Both teams will be looking for their first win of the season. The match will begin at 3:00PM and will stream live on Gophersports.com

Women’s Basketball @ Illinois 4:00 PM

The Gopher women close out the regular season at Illinois on Friday. This comes as the team was just back to practice on Wednesday after a COVID pause that saw them cancel their final home game last weekend. It’s unknown what players may be unavailable for the game, but previously the Gophers defeated Illinois 83-73 at the Barn in February. Minnesota comes in with a 7-10 Big Ten record while Illinois is last in the conference at 1-16. Minnesota appears relatively locked into the #9 seed in the Big Ten tournament and second round matchup against either Michigan State or Nebraska next week. Today’s game tips off at 4:00 PM and will stream live on BTN+ and can be heard on 96.7 FM

Men’s Hockey vs Michigan—3M Arena at Mariucci 7:00PM

The preview for this weekend’s hockey series can be found here. Friday night’s game will air on Fox Sports North + and stream on Fox Sports Go and BTN+.

Baseball vs Indiana—US Bank Stadium 7:00 PM

The Golden Gopher baseball team will make it’s 2021 debut Friday night when it opens a four game homestand against Indiana and Rutgers at US Bank Stadium. This season will mark Gopher head coach John Anderson’s 40th season in charge of the Gophers. His 1,325 wins is the second highest active total in the nation and 22nd overall in the history of NCAA baseball.

Offensively the Gophers will be led by a pair of hot hitting infielders. Second baseman Zach Raabe was named a Preseason Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and was ranked by D1Baseball as the preseason No. 4 second baseman in the nation. Third baseman Jack Wassel was named the preseason No. 6 third baseman in the country and named to the 2021 Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award Watch List.

Junior right hander J.P. Massey is in line to be the teams ace on the mound this season. In a shortened 2020 season Massey was 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings pitched. He is a highly touted prospect and is positioned to be selected in the first several rounds of the 2021 MLB Draft, having been ranked as highly as the No. 17 college prospect by Perfect Game while being tabbed as a top-200 prospect overall by Baseball America.

The Gophers projected rotation for this weekend is:

Friday vs Indiana RHP Sam Ireland

Sat vs Rutgers RHP J. P. Massey

Sun vs Rutgers LHP Tom Skoro

Sun vs Indiana LHP Jeff Liffrig

Friday’s first pitch is 7:00 PM and can be streamed live on BTN+

Saturday March 6th

Wrestling—Big Ten Championships —University Park, PA 9:00 AM

The Big Ten Wrestling Championships kicks off hosted by Penn State on Saturday morning with the first round and quarterfinal matches. The second session will begin at 6:30 PM and include semifinals and wrestlebacks. Both sessions will air live on BTN with additional match coverage streaming on BTN+.

The Gophers have seeded wrestlers in all ten weight classes with #1 Heavyweight Gable Steveson the overwhelming favorite to win in second consecutive Big Ten Championship. The full list of pre-seeds is below:

125: No. 4 Patrick McKee

133: No. 7 Boo Dryden

141: No. 6 Marcos Polanco

149: No. 6 Michael Blockhus

157: No. 3 Brayton Lee

165: No. 5 Andrew Sparks

174: No. 9 Jake Allar

184: No. 4 Owen Webster

197: No. 11 Garrett Joles

HWT: No. 1 Gable Steveson

Men’s Swimming and Diving—Big Ten Championships—Columbus, Oh 10:00AM

The final day of competition at the Big Ten swimming and diving championship kicks off with prelims at 10:00AM and finals at 5:30 PM both streaming on BTN+.

Men’s Basketball vs Rutgers—Williams Arena 11:00 AM

The Gopher men close out their regular season with a final game against Rutgers from the Barn. The game is an early 11:00 AM tip and will air on Fox. A full preview will be coming later Friday.

Men’s Tennis vs Wisconsin—Baseline Tennis Center Noon

The Gopher men will host border rival Wisconsin at Noon. Minnesota jumped into the ITA Poll this week after their upset win over Northwestern and are now ranked #47 in the nation. The match will stream live on gophersports.com

Men’s Gymnastics vs Penn State—Maturi Pavillion—Noon

The Gopher men’s gymnastics team hosts Penn State in a Saturday matinee at noon at the Pav. Minnesota is still looking for their first win on the season, but may get a boost with the return of senior Shane Wiskus to the lineup after he reearned his spot on the US national Team at the Winter Cup last weekend. The meet will stream live on BTN+.

Women’s Hockey WCHA Final Faceoff vs Wisconsin—Ridder Arena 1:00 PM

The Gopher women’s hockey team will face #1 seed Wisconsin in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena on Saturday. Look for a full preview later Friday on the Blog. The game will stream live on flohockey.com

Men’s Hockey vs Michigan—3M Arena at Mariucci 4:00 PM

The Gophers and Wolverines close out their series with potentially the Big Ten regular season championship on the line for the Gophers. The game will air on BTN and stream on FoxSports.com

Baseball vs Rutgers—US Bank Stadium 4:00 PM

The second of a four game season opening series for the Gophers. First pitch at 4:00 PM on BTN+.

Soccer vs Illinois—Rec Sports Dome 8:00 PM

The Gopher soccer team fresh off of a big 2-1 OT win over Northwestern last Thursday will host Illinois at the Rec Sports dome. Kickoff is at 8:00 PM and will stream live on BTN+.

Sunday March 7th

Wrestling—Big Ten Championships—University Park, PA 11:00 AM

The Big Ten Wrestling Championships continue with session three beginning at 11:00 AM. This session will include wrestlebacks and 7th place matches. The Fourth session begins at 3:00 PM and will include the Championship, third and fifth place matches. Both sessions will air live on BTN.

Women’s Tennis vs Rutgers—Baseline Tennis Center 11:00 AM

The Gopher women will look for another win over a winless opponent at Rutgers comes to town with a 0-5 record as of Friday. The match will stream live on gophersports.com.

Baseball vs Rutgers/Indiana—US Bank Stadium 2:00PM/6:00PM

The Gophers will close out the first weekend of the season with a Sunday doubleheader. The Gophers get Rutgers in game one at 2:00 PM with Indiana playing Minnesota in the finale at 6:00 PM. Both games will stream live on BTN+.

Women’s Hockey—WCHA Final Faceoff Championship Game—Ridder Arena 2:00 PM

The Championship game of the WCHA Final Faceoff will begin at 2:00 PM from Ridder Arena. The winner of Minnesota/Wisconsin will face Ohio State/UMD for the title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The game can be streamed live on flohockey.com

The Women’s Hockey NCAA Tournament selection show will air Sunday night at 8PM on NCAA.com. Minnesota is on the bubble but is expected to make the field of 8 teams.

Monday/Tuesday March 8-9

Men’s Golf— Spartan Collegiate at Sea Island Sea Island, Georgia

The Gopher Men’s golf team is back in action Monday/Tuesday at the Spartan Collegiate Tournament hosted by Michigan State in Sea Island, Georgia. Live scoring of the event is available HERE.