2008 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament Preview
Nov. 5, 2008
The 2008 edition of the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament will take place this weekend--Nov. 6, 7 and 9--at the IU Field Hockey Field in Bloomington, Ind. The tournament field has been set and action starts on Thursday, Nov. 6, with No. 2 Iowa and No. 7 Indiana facing off at 10 a.m. EST. The conference's tournament champion will be crowned live on the Big Ten Network in a Noon EST game on Sunday.
Penn State enters the tournament as the top seed after winning its fifth Big Ten regular season title on Sunday, Oct. 26, with a 3-0 win over Michigan. It is the first Big Ten championship for head coach Charlene Morett's squad since 2005. Penn State is the top seed in the tournament for the third time since the tournament's inception in 1994. The Nittany Lions were the No. 1 seed in 1997 and 1998, winning back-to-back tournament crowns. Most recently, Penn State was the top seed in 2005, before falling to eventual champion Michigan.
Iowa, the defending tournament champion, is the No. 2 seed after finishing the conference season with a 4-2 mark. With a win over Penn State on Oct. 31, Michigan State moved to 4-2 in the conference standings and into a tie with the Hawkeyes. The Spartans fell to Iowa on Oct. 25, 4-3, making them the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Michigan is the No. 4 seed after defeating Ohio State on Oct. 5, dropping the Buckeyes to the No. 5 spot as both teams enter the weekend with 3-3 conference records. The two teams will meet again on Thursday in the opening round of the tournament in the second game of the day at 12:15 p.m. EST.
Rounding out the field are No. 6 Northwestern and No. 7 Indiana. The Wildcats upended the Hoosiers, 3-1, to close out the regular season and earn the sixth seed. The win was the first Big Ten win by the 'Cats since Sept. 30, 2006. Indiana will face off against Iowa in Game 1 of the tournament on Thursday at 10 a.m. EST. The Wildcats will battle Michigan State in the final game of the day at 2:30 p.m. EST.
Top-seeded Penn State will await the winner of No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will play their semifinal game on Friday, at 10 a.m. EST. The second semifinal game will begin at 12:15 p.m. EST on Friday with the tournament finale taking place on Sunday, live on the Big Ten Network at Noon EST.