By Mike Max

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Gophers are on the road to the NCAA Tournament, and their fans are following them.

“I never lost faith last year. I was at every game and I supported them all the way,” Dan Broman with the Golden Dunkers said. “To come back and to have that supported be rewarded, this is the start. We’re going to go upward.”

The Gopher faithful pumped themselves up with the University of Minnesota rouser and loaded charter buses Wednesday morning. They’re off to Milwaukee to root on the Gophers in the first, and hopefully second round, of the NCAA Tournament.

No. 5 seed Minnesota faces No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee State at about 3 p.m. Thursday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis.

The Gophers team got to Milwaukee Tuesday night, and hit the practice floor for the first time Wednesday afternoon. They have arrived, and the vibe changes when you get to an NCAA Tournament.

“I’m so excited. I mean it didn’t hit me until we checked into the hotel that we’re actually in the NCAA Tournament,” sophomore forward Jordan Murphy said. “So just being here in a different venue, in a different city, is pretty cool.”

And to add a little extra oomf, the band made the trip.

“Add a little energy to the practice hopefully,” U of M Band Director Skeeter Burroughs said. “It’s a lot of fun. We’ve had a little bit of down time today and kind of been able to relax a little bit. It’s Spring Break for the students, so having some down time is really good.”

But this is now about basketball for the team. Setting a tone that leads into Thursday’s game.

“Exciting feeling but we can’t live in the moment. We’re here because we have a goal and we want to get that done,” sophomore guard Dupree McBrayer said. “Business trip, that’s all it is.”

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