TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Anyone who attended Thursday’s news conference at Rhoads Stadium for the teams competing in this weekend’s Tuscaloosa regional would think the Minnesota Gophers are an underdog.
In fact numerous times throughout the Gophers 15 minutes in front of the camera, Minnesota coach Jessica Allister was quizzed by the media about her team playing the standing in a regional comprised of the regional's highest seed Alabama, Louisiana Tech and Albany.
And based on Allister’s answers, the Gophers come in with a chip on their shoulder after being snubbed by the NCAA committee by not receiving one of the 16 national seeds.
The No. 1 ranked team in the country that sports a 54-3 record heading into Friday’s 1:30 p.m. matchup against Louisiana Tech. Just how good are they? A national television audience can determine it for themselves as the first meeting between the two programs will be on ESPNU.
“For a lot of programs seeing their name mentioned goes a long way,” said Montgomery. “Unfortunately we were denied that because of all the controversy. It was a little disappointing when you aren’t even mentioned in the statement. So when you show up with the other teams in the region and no one even talks about you as even being in the region, it’s a little disheartening. It is what it is. We are going to do our best to show that we belong here at this regional.
The Lady Techsters (37-22) make the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008, the 10th overall, after capturing the Conference USA tournament title with a 1-0 win over FIU last Saturday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.