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LSU looks to make one last NCAA Tournament run before Mainieri retires

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There was a long wait Monday, May 31, but eventually, the LSU Tigers appeared on the screen as the NCAA revealed its tournament brackets.

However, once again, it will be a long trip for the Tigers, as LSU will travel more than 2,400 miles from Baton Rouge to Eugene, Ore.

“It’s a big relief,” said junior Gavin Dugas. “Obviously, you don’t want to end the way we did with Georgia. It shouldn’t have ended that way and it’s not going to. We’ve got the opportunity and we’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Dugas leads the team with 16 home runs.

LSU will take on Gonzaga late Friday, June 4.

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The storyline and sentiment for the Tigers seem pretty obvious. The players and fans are all hoping head coach Paul Mainieri can enjoy one last, deep NCAA Tournament run, before he retires after the season.

“We had not had our name called today, I would not have been upset for Paul Mainieri’s sake; I would’ve been upset for the 30-plus kids in that room, because, for some of them, that would’ve been their only opportunity or one of their few opportunities,” said Mainieri. “I’ve had plenty of chances. My career is fulfilled. I would’ve been heartbroken for the players, not myself.”

It will be the Central Connecticut Blue Devils facing the top-seeded Oregon Ducks at 4 p.m. followed by LSU taking on Gonzaga at 9 p.m.

To watch, you’ll have to stream it on ESPN3.

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