Big Ten Releases Bracket for 2011 Baseball Tournament
May 21, 2011
The conference office announced on Saturday the bracket for the 2011 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, held May 25-28 at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Illinois and Michigan State finished the regular season as Big Ten Co-Champions, each with 15-9 Big Ten records, while the Fighting Illini earned the No. 1 seed based on their head-to-head record against the Spartans.
Illinois wins the program’s 29th Big Ten title and first since 2005, which is the last time the Illini were the tournament’s No. 1 seed. Illinois enters the tournament as the top seed for the third time since the field was first seeded for the 1988 event. The Illini will be playing in their 18th conference tournament, including their sixth in the last seven years.
Michigan State earns its fourth Big Ten title and first since 1979. The Spartans are the tournament’s No. 2 seed, marking the program’s highest ever seed. Michigan State will make its ninth Big Ten Tournament appearance and second in the last three seasons.
Purdue picks up the No. 3 seed in the tournament, finishing the conference season with a 14-10 record. The Boilermakers are in the postseason event for the 15th time and the fourth consecutive season, which is the longest active streak among conference squads.
Ohio State is the No. 4 seed after taking two of three from Minnesota in the final regular-season weekend, finishing the season with a 13-11 Big Ten mark. After a one-year hiatus, the Buckeyes are back in the tournament field for the 24th time and have qualified for the postseason event in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
Minnesota takes the No. 5 seed after finishing tied with Ohio State in the standings at 13-11. The Gophers won last year’s tournament and are in the field for the third consecutive year. This year’s event will mark Minnesota’s 27th tournament appearance, which is more than any other conference team.
Penn State rounds out the field as the No. 6 seed, making its ninth tournament appearance. The Nittany Lions finished the conference slate with a 12-12 record and jump back in the field for the first time since 2008, when they were the No. 3 seed.
Tournament action gets underway on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. ET as Ohio State faces Minnesota. Game 2 will begin at approximately 3:35 p.m. ET and will feature Purdue and Penn State. Illinois and Michigan State will begin play on Wednesday and will face the winners of Tuesday’s games. All games will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
The complete tournament bracket, including game times and television information, can be found by clicking the link at the top of the story.