Credit: University of Minnesota
A promising lead midway through the Sweet 16 matchup against Pittsburgh quickly disappeared and the Minnesota Gophers were knocked out of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
Minnesota was leading two games to one in the best-of-five match, only to see Pittsburgh rally in Game 4 and then win 15-11 in Game 5. The Gophers won the first set 25-21, lost 23-25 in the second, won the third 25-20 and dropped the fourth 21-25.
Pittsburgh was unseeded in the tournament and now finds itself in the Elite 8 after upsetting the No. 3 Gophers. Pitt is riding a 15-game win streak as they move on to the Regional Final for the first time in program history.
“It’s disappointing to lose, but I was proud of them,” head coach Hugh McCutcheon said, according to the Star Tribune. “We had a heck of a year, and it’s a shame it ended this quickly. I thought we battled. It just wasn’t to be. And Pitt played really well.”
The Gophers were just two wins shy of reaching the Final Four for the fourth time since 2015. They finish the season 16-3 overall.