Big Ten Announces Tournament Seeding and Schedule
May 4, 2014
Park Ridge, Ill. - Following the completion of the 2014 regular season, the Big Ten Conference has announced the official bracket for the 2014 Big Ten Softball Tournament, to be held at Sharon J. Drysdale on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. After a three-game sweep of Penn State this weekend, Illinois earns the No. 9 seed for the tournament, and will take on No. 8 Iowa in a first round matchup beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.
Michigan earned the No. 1 seed for the 2014 tournament after clinching a share of its 18th conference championship. Nebraska tied Michigan on the final game of the season to capture a share of its first Big Ten title with the help of a weekend sweep of Indiana, securing the No. 2 seed after the tie was broken based on the pair's record against the next highest-seeded team, No. 3 Minnesota. After taking two of three from top-seeding Michigan on the final weekend of the year, Wisconsin earned the No. 4 seed and is the fourth and final team to earn a first-round bye.
Tournament play kicks off at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 4, when No. 6 Purdue takes on No. 11 Indiana, with the winner set to face No. 3 Minnesota at the same time on Friday. At approximately 1:30 p.m., No. 7 Ohio State squares off with No. 10 Penn State, and the advancing team will match up against No. 2 Nebraska Friday. No. 9 Illinois then takes to the field at 4:30 p.m. in the third game of the day, facing No. 8 Iowa for the chance to take on No. 1 Michigan in Friday's quarterfinal. No. 4 Wisconsin awaits the winner of the final opening round matchup, when No. 5 Northwestern hosts No. 12 Michigan State at 7 p.m. All four of the opening round games will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network.
Friday's quarterfinal round will begin at 11 a.m., with four games determining the semifinalist. The remaining four teams will square off in a pair of semifinal games, beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the Big Ten Championship game will be contested in prime time at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night. All of Friday and Saturday's games will air live on the Big Ten Network.