Illinois the No. 5 Seed in Big Ten Tournament
Oct. 28, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After the dust settled on Saturday night's come from behind 3-2 overtime win over No. 24 Michigan, the Fighting Illini soon learned the path they must take to repeat as Big Ten Tournament Champions. Illinois claimed the No. 5 seed after finishing 6-4-1 in conference play (9-7-2 overall). They will face the No. 4 seed in Minnesota (6-4-1 Big Ten, 11-7-1 overall) in the opening game Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 9:30 a.m. CT.
Illinois and Minnesota met on Oct. 12 of this year in Minneapolis in which the Gophers downed the Illini 3-0. Minnesota netted a goal in the first half and two in the second with their leading scorer Taylor Uhl recording five points (two goals, one assist) in the contest. The Orange and Blue lead the overall series 9-7-2.
If the Illini advance past the Gophers they will meet the winner of the No. 1 Penn State vs. No. 8 Iowa game. The match follows the Illinois game with a 12:30 p.m. CT start time. The Nittany Lions earned the top spot after claiming their 15th consecutive Big Ten Championship.
In the bottom half of the bracket, No. 2 Ohio State will square off with No. 7 Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. CT. In addition, the final match of the day features No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 6 Wisconsin at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The semifinals will begin at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 2, while the championship game will take place at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 4. For the first time, Big Ten Network (BTN) will provide full coverage of the tournament, as the quarterfinals will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network, while the semifinals and finals will be available on both BTN and BTN2Go.
The Big Ten Tournament will be held on Indiana's campus in Bloomington, Indiana. The winner will receive the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Illinois is 14-9-3 lifetime in Big Ten Tournament play. That stands as the third best winning percentage amongst all conference teams. Illinois has won the tournament twice, both as the No. 2 seed. The Illini claimed it in 2003 over Michigan and again in 2011 over Penn State in overtime.