Bracket Set for 2008 Big Ten Baseball Tournament
May 17, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The bracket for the 2008 Big Ten Baseball Tournament has been set, the conference office announced Saturday evening. The event will take place May 21-24 at Wilpon Baseball Complex home of Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan clinched its third consecutive Big Ten Championship and the right to host the tournament with a three-game sweep over Minnesota on May 9-11. The remaining five slots in the bracket were determined on the final weekend of competition.
The Wolverines finished the season strong, taking three of four games from Northwestern to close out the conference slate. In the process, Michigan set a record for wins in a Big Ten season with a 26-5 record in conference play. The previous record of 25 victories was set by Ohio State in 1994 and tied by the Buckeyes in 1999. With the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Wolverines earn a first-round bye.
Purdue earned the No. 2 seed in the bracket and a first-round bye, clinching the spot with a doubleheader sweep over Illinois on Friday. The slot is the highest for the Boilermakers since 2005 when they were also seeded second.
Penn State jumped into the No. 3 spot on Friday with a doubleheader sweep over Minnesota. 2008 marks the second consecutive year the Nittany Lions have earned the tournament's No. 3 seed. PSU will face No. 6 Indiana in Game 2 of the tournament at 3:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The Hoosiers earned the sixth slot with four wins at Michigan State, marking the squad's first Big Ten series sweep since 1999. IU is making its sixth overall tournament appearance and first since 2003.
Opening the 2008 tournament, No. 4 Illinois will face No. 5 Ohio State on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. ET. The Fighting Illini are making their fourth consecutive tournament appearance and own their highest seed since 2005 when they claimed the top spot. The tournament berth is the Buckeyes' 12th consecutive, which is the longest such streak in Big Ten history. In 2007, OSU became the first No. 6 seed in history to win the tournament title.
Up to six Big Ten Tournament games will reach a national television audience as the Big Ten Network will televise three games on Friday, two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday if the tournament goes to 11 games. A complete bracket, including television information, can be found by clicking the link at the top of the page.