Oct. 29, 2006
2006 Tournament Bracket in PDF Format
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Park Ridge, Ill. - With a 4-3 double-overtime victory over Michigan State on Saturday, Ohio State claimed its second Big Ten Championship in program history while closing out the conference season with a 5-1 mark in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes also clinched the top seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming conference tournament. Michigan will serve as host for the 2006 Big Ten Tournament from Friday-Sunday, Nov. 3-5 at Phyllis Ocker Field.
Ohio State, ranked fifth in the latest STX/NFHCA National Coaches poll, claimed the Big Ten title, with a win over the Spartans. Senior Saskia Mueller scored the game-winning goal 4:22 into the second overtime session to lift the Buckeyes over Michigan State, 4-3. The Buckeyes then secured the title outright when Penn State, which had to win both its weekend's games to earn a share of the Big Ten crown, fell to Indiana on Sunday.
Indiana, Penn State and Michigan ended the regular season tied for second place in the Big Ten standings with matching 4-2 conference marks. In the head-to-head tiebreaker, all three teams had 1-1 records against each other, therefore the second tiebreaker was brought into play. The Hoosiers earned the No. 2 seed because they defeated Ohio State, giving the Buckeyes their only loss of the conference season. The Nittany Lions were then awarded the No. 3 seed based on the third tiebreaker, which is goal differential between the tied teams.
The Hoosiers, rated 14th in the nation, clinched the No. 2 seed for the second-consecutive year and will face seventh-seeded Michigan State in the first game of the tournament on Friday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. EST. The second game of the day will feature No. 4 Michigan, the two-time defending Big Ten Champion, taking on fifth-seeded Iowa at 12:30 p.m. Last year, the Wolverines defeated Indiana in the championship game to capture their fourth tournament crown in program history. The final game of the opening day will feature Penn State, seeded third and ranked seventh nationally, against sixth-seeded Northwestern at 3 p.m.
Top-seeded Ohio State will face the winner of the Michigan-Iowa match in the first semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 11 a.m., while the winners of the Indiana-Michigan State and Penn State-Northwestern games will square off at 1:30 p.m. The championship game is set for Sunday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m., and will be televised by College Sports Television on a tape-delay basis. CSTV will broadcast the championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. EST. For more information on the 2006 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament, go to www.bigten.org.