NCAA Championship Begins Saturday For Three Big Ten Schools
Nov. 11, 2009
Three Big Ten teams will represent the conference at the 2009 NCAA Championship as Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State have been selected as part of the 16-team field, marking the 10th time in the last 11 seasons the conference will send three or more teams to the national tournament. The NCAA Championships begin this weekend, with first round games contested on Saturday, Nov. 14 and second round games scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 15. First and second round matchups will be played at various campus sites.
Leading the Big Ten contingent is No. 6 Michigan State, who finished the 2009 regular season as the Big Ten Champion. Also winners of the Big Ten Tournament Championship, the Spartans (17-3) have now been selected to the NCAA Championship seven times since 2001 and own a 7-6 record in their six previous appearances. In first round action, Michigan State is 5-1 and has advanced to the Final Four in 2002 and 2004. In their opening round matchup, the Spartans will face the No. 11 Delaware Blue Hens, who finished the season 14-5 overall and won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. The match will be played in Charlottesville, Va., on the University of Virginia campus. The two teams previously met this year on Aug. 29, a match won by Michigan State, 7-2. The winner of the Michigan State-Delaware match will face the winner of the Virginia-Richmond match in the second round.
Joining Michigan State will be Big Ten Tournament runner-up Indiana, who finished the season 14-6 and claimed the third seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana’s inclusion into the NCAA Championship is the second in school history, with the first coming in 2005. The No. 13 Hoosiers, who own a 1-1 record in the NCAA Championship, will face the host team in their region, No. 7 Wake Forest, in the first round. Wake Forest finished the year 12-6 and has faced Indiana once already this season, a Sept. 13 contest that went the way of the Demon Deacons, 5-2.
The third Big Ten squad to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship is No. 15 Ohio State, who finished the season 13-6 and was the No. 2 seed in last week’s Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes make their fifth appearance in the national tournament, and third in the last five seasons. In its opening round game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Ohio State will face the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels, who finished the season 16-2 overall. This will be the second all-time meeting between the two teams, with the first coming in 1997.
The winner of the Ohio State-North Carolina matchup will face the winner of the Indiana-Wake Forest matchup in the tournament’s second round.
The national semifinals will be held Nov. 20 and the national championship game on Nov. 22 on the Wake Forest University campus in Winston-Salem, N.C. The championship game will appear live on the CBS College Sports Network.