Gophers standout Carlie Wagner ready to make noise in NCAA Tournament
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Gophers women's basketball team will find out who they will face in the NCAA Tournament Monday night.
One senior on the squad looking forward to the Big Dance is Carlie Wagner. She's been setting school records and joining the elite names in program history. Wagner currently has 2,180 points, which is third on Minnesota’s all-time scoring list. She’s just the fifth player to score 2,000 or more.
“When you pick a Big Ten school and you’re signing your contract with them, you don’t think ‘Oh I’m going to be the third leading scorer in the school’ you know what I mean?” said Wagner. “You’re just so happy that moment to be attending that university and be a part of something so much bigger and that’s just an added side fun, for me, because I love this place so much, these coaches, these players, so that’s just kind of bonus for me.”
She says it feels weird to among names like Lindsey Whalen, Janel McCarville, and Rachel Bantam, but it’s not weird at all to be part of the upcoming Selection Monday.
“I guess we really don’t care [what seeding we get],” said Wagner. “I mean we’re ready for whatever gets thrown at us, so we’re just excited to be a part of Selection Monday and obviously want to make some noise in the tournament.”
The senior says she feels the team is riding a strong wave into the tournament, having beaten ranked teams like Maryland at the end of the regular season.
“We had all these tough ranked teams back-to-back-to-back late February which is great for preparing for Big Ten Tournament and for NCAA Tournament, so big wins and we really had to fight through them.”
Wagner’s basketball career may extend beyond the NCAA as the WNBA may soon be calling, but for now Wagner is soaking up her last days in a Gophers uniform.
“I’m just focusing on this last part of my senior year and the NCAA Tournament, really just absorbing my last little bit here, so really focused on that, but [the WNBA] is always on the back of my mind," she said. "I’ve thought about it obviously. I almost get a little overwhelmed with everything that’s going on and then thinking about that on top of it, so just got to take it step by step.”