- Associated Press - Monday, March 13, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in four seasons under coach Richard Pitino comes with a proximity bonus.

The Gophers get to play nearby in Milwaukee, as the No. 5 seed in the South Region. They’ll play in the first round on Thursday afternoon against a dangerous No. 12 seed in Middle Tennessee, which was a No. 15 seed last season and beat No. 2 seed Michigan State in the first round.

With a 24-9 record after finishing 8-23 last season, the Gophers engineered the biggest turnaround of any NCAA Division I team. Junior center Reggie Lynch says Pitino told his players the goal should be to win two games to reach the Sweet 16 and then “figure it out from there.”

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