Minnesota and Whalen Excited For 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four

A huge cheer went up Monday, September 24th among the assembled City of Minneapolis and University of Minnesota officials viewing the NCAA Women’s Final Four site selection live announcement. The NCAA had just announced that the 2022 Women’s Final Four will be held at the Target Center in Minneapolis for the first time since 1995.

No pressure, but Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey said, “We can hopefully get Lindsay Whalen to cut the nets at the end of the Final Four.” This was promptly followed by Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle adding, “That would be a great story.”

It seems doubtful hopes would be so high for anyone but Lindsay Whalen. Whalen’s credentials include:

  • University of Minnesota alum who led the team’s Final Four run in 2004 and had her Golden Gophers #13 jersey retired.
  • Four-time WNBA champion with the Minnesota Lynx
  • Two-time gold medalist in the Olympics and World Championships
  • Newly hired head coach for the University of Minnesota women’s team

When she was a player, Whalen did not shy away from challenges. That doesn’t appear to have changed as she transitions to coaching. She stated how memorable the Final Four in New Orleans she participated in as a Minnesota Golden Gopher was and how she could not imagine how special one could be at home.

She thanked everyone that helped land the tournament and noted that her current freshman class has a tremendous opportunity when they are seniors to do something very special by playing in a Final Four in their hometown — if the players and coaching staff put in the work.

To encourage her team, Whalen then retweeted the @ncaawbb announcement and added her thoughts:

No doubt, Whalen and her coaching staff will do their best to provide the necessary motivation and coaching to get the Golden Gophers back to the Final Four in 2022. A city and its mayor are counting on it.

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