March 15, 2009
A record-tying seven Big Ten teams were selected to participate in the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Big Ten Champion Michigan State and Big Ten Tournament Champion Purdue will represent the conference along with Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.
The seven teams selected to participate ties a conference record. The Big Ten also had seven teams participate in 1990. The Big Ten was tied with the ACC and Big East for the most participants in this year's tournament.
Michigan State is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional and will visit the Minneapolis first/second round site. The Spartans are slated to play No. 15 Robert Morris first with the winner facing the winner of No. 7 Boston College vs. No. 10 USC. MSU is making its 23rd NCAA appearance overall and 11th consecutive. Michigan State has a 43-21 mark in the NCAA Tournament and six Final Four appearances, including the 1979 and 2000 national championships.
Purdue is the No. 5 seed in the West Regional and will be in Portland for its first/second round games. The Boilermakers will take on No. 12 Northern Iowa with the winner of that game facing the winner of No. 4 Washington vs. No. 13 Mississippi State. Purdue's appearance is the 22nd in school history and its third consecutive. The Boilers have a 29-22 record in NCAA tournament games as well as two Final Four appearances.
Illinois is the No. 5 seed in the South Regional and will head to the Portland first/second round site. The Illini have No. 12 Western Kentucky as a first round opponent with the winner taking on the winner of No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 Akron. Illinois is making its 28th Tournament appearance and has a 38-28 record in tournament games. The Illini have also been in five Final Fours and are making their first NCAA appearance since 2007.
Ohio State is the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Regional and will be at the Dayton first/second round site. The Buckeyes will face No. 9 Siena for their first game while the winner of that will take on the winner of No. 1 Louisville vs. Alabama State/Morehead State winner in the second round. Ohio State is making its 21st appearance in the in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2007. Overall, the Buckeyes have a 32-18 record in the tournament and eight appearances in the Final Four, including a championship in 1960.
Michigan is the No. 10 seed in the South Regional and go to the Kansas City first/second round site. The Wolverines have No. 7 Clemson as a first round opponent with the winner taking on the winner of No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Morgan State. Michigan is making its 17th Tournament appearance and has a 34-15 record in tournament games. Michigan is making its first appearance since 1995 and won the national championship in 1989.
Minnesota is the No. 10 seed in the East Regional and will be at the Greensboro first/second round site. The Gophers will face No. 7 Texas for their first game while the winner of that will take on the winner of No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Binghamton in the second round. Minnesota is making its sixth appearance in the in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2005. Overall, the Gophers have a 7-5 record in the tournament.
Wisconsin is the No. 12 seed in the East Regional and will travel to the Boise first/second round site. First up for the Badgers will be No. 5 Florida State with the second round pitting the winner of that game against the winner of No. 4 Xavier vs. No. 13 Portland State. Wisconsin will be playing in the tournament for the 15th time and making its 11th straight appearance. The Badgers are 19-13 in their previous trips and have made two Final Four appearances, including winning the 1941 title.