A day after the Minnesota Golden Gophers ended the regular season with a sweep of Iowa at the Pav, the Gophers found out they are the #3 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Gophers will receive a first round bye into the round of 32 and will play the winner of Georgia Tech and Lipscomb in the second round on April 15th in Omaha, Nebraska.
The entire NCAA Tournament will be played in Omaha this year as part of the COVID adapted tournament. Additionally, this season instead of the usual 64 team field, there are only 48 teams. Due to this the top 16 nationally seeded teams received a first round bye directly to the round of 32. The first three rounds of the tournament will be played at the Omaha Convention Center with the Elite 8 onward being played at the CHI Health Arena in downtown Omaha.
Minnesota is one of six Big Ten teams in the field of 48, and all six ended up being seeded teams. Wisconsin won the Big Ten and got the #1 overall national seed with Nebraska as the #5 seed, Purdue the #7 seed, Ohio State the #9 seed and Penn State the #12 seed. Minnesota would not see any of the other Big Ten teams until the Final Four,
The top right quadrant of the bracket.#NCAAVB pic.twitter.com/BC4SNihI7P— NCAA Women's Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) April 4, 2021
The Gophers will open play on April 15th at 6PM on ESPN3 against the winner of the first round match between Georgia Tech and Lipscomb. Georgia Tech is an at-large bid and finished its regular season with a 13-4 record all in ACC play. Lipscomb won its seventh ASUN championship in program history yesterday and will make its eighth NCAA tournament appearance. Assuming Minnesota gets past the unseeded teams and into the Sweet 16 the Gophers would most likely see #14 seed Utah in the Sweet 16, and either #6 Washington or #11 Louisville in the Elite 8 should they advance. Sweet 16 games will take place April 18th and Elite 8 games April 19th all on one of the ESPN networks.
If the Gophers advance to their second Final Four in a row, they would likely see one of No. 2 Kentucky, No. 7 Purdue, No. 10 Oregon and No. 15 Washington State in the National Semifinal.
Congrats to the Gopher Volleyball team on a great regular season, and here is to hoping for a long postseason run!