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Gophers vs. Middle Tennessee St. Preview

March 15, 2017 07:00 PM

No. 5 seed Minnesota (24-9) vs. No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee (30-4)

First round, South region; Milwaukee; 4 p.m. EDT

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BOTTOM LINE: Middle Tennessee has its sights set on taking down another Big Ten team after upsetting Michigan State in the first round last year as a No. 15 seed. Minnesota is in the NCAAs for the first time since 2013, completing a remarkable one-year turnaround after going 8-23 last year.

BLOCK PARTY: Minnesota big man Reggie Lynch is the Big Ten's defensive player of the year after blocking a school-record 111 shots. The 6-foot-10 Lynch is second in the NCAAs with 3.5 blocks per game.

RAIDERS RESTOCK: Giddy Potts (15.8 points) and Reggie Upshaw (14.5 points) are returning starters from the Conference USA squad that upset the Spartans, but 6-foot-8 forward JaCorey Williams led the team in scoring (16.8 points) and rebounding (7.3 rebounds) this year The transfer from Arkansas, who sat out last season as a redshirt, brings the experience of having played in the more competitive Southeastern Conference.

STAT LINES: While Middle Tennessee set a single-season school record for wins, Minnesota's 16-game swing was 2015-16 was the biggest single-season turnaround in the country.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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