No. 11 Gophers Take on No. 6 Bruins in NCAA Tournament Match-Up
March 20, 2013
GAME DAY TID-BITS
Minnesota is the No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history. The Gophers' previous appearances were during 1989, when they knocked off No. 6 seed Kansas State, 86-75, and No. 14 Siena (80-67) to reach the Sweet 16 before falling to second-seeded Duke, 87-70. Minnesota lost to No. 6 Xavier 76-62 in the 2010 tournament.
The Gophers are 1-5 all-time against UCLA, although the win has since been vacated. It occurred when No. 1 seed Minnesota beat No. 2 seed UCLA in the 1997 Midwest Regional Final, 80-72, in San Antonio to advance to the Final Four.
UCLA will be Minnesota's 11th game against a team ranked in the AP Top 25 at the time of the game. The Gophers are 5-5 in those games.
Tubby Smith is making his 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third as the head coach at Minnesota. Smith is 29-15 (.659) all-time in the NCAA Tournament and led the 1998 Kentucky Wildcats to the National Title with a 78-69 victory over Utah in San Antonio.
Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe are the only Gophers with NCAA Tournament experience. However, the duo have combined for just under two minutes of game action. Mbakwe played a minute in Marquette's second round loss to Stanford in 2008 while Williams briefly checked into the 2010 NCAA First Round loss with Xavier.
The Gophers are 49-27 all-time against schools currently in the Pac-12 Conference. Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith is 17-6 against schools from the Pac-12, including wins against Stanford and USC this season.
MINNESOTA VS. POTENTIAL THIRD ROUND FOES
MINNESOTA VS. SOUTH REGIONAL TEAMS
TUBBY TIME IS TOURNEY TIME
Smith has guided Minnesota to three of its nine official Tournament appearances. The Gophers earned back-to-back NCAA bids in 2009 and 2010.
Smith made 14 consecutive NCAA trips from 1994 to 2007 during his tenures at Tulsa (2), Georgia (2), and Kentucky (10).