The Big Ten Tournament returns for the first time since 2008.
May 6, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference has announced the official seeding for the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, hosted by Nebraska at Bowlin Stadium on May 9-12. The tournament returns to fruition for the first time since 2008, and for the first time ever will follow a single-elimination format with all 12 conference members participating. The winner of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament will earn an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
The University of Illinois captured the sixth seed, finishing 11-12 in conference play, and will face 11th-seeded Penn State (15-33, 5-17 Big Ten) at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, in the first round. Should the Illini advance, they will take on third-seed Minnesota on Friday at 4:30 p.m., who received a first-round bye.
Illinois did not face the Nittany Lions in the 2013 regular season, but hold an 18-11 edge over the all-time series. The Illini swept the three-game series in May, 2012, and have won 13 of their last 15 contests with Penn State dating back to 2006. Click here for full series results.
The Illini's slated quarterfinals opponent swept the Orange and Blue in mid-April in a three-game series that was relocated from Minneapolis to Eichelberger Field on account of snow. The Golden Gophers played as the home team in the series and took all three contests. Despite this season's outcome, Illinois owns the all-time series, 18-9 (results). Following the series with Minnesota, the Illini went on a 10-game winning streak, claiming 11 of the final 12 regular-season games.
The University of Michigan captured the top seed for the tournament, going 20-2 in 2013. The Wolverines, along with No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Minnesota and No. 4 Wisconsin receive a first-round bye, while the fifth through 12th-ranked squads open play on Thursday, May 4.
First pitch of the tournament is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT on Thursday when No. 5 Northwestern takes on No. 12 Indiana, with the winner facing the fourth-seeded Badgers on Friday. At approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, No. 8 Ohio State battles No. 9 Iowa, with the winner advancing to face Michigan in Friday's quarterfinal. Sixth-seeded Illinois challenges No. 11 Penn State at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday, with third-seeded Minnesota awaiting the first-round winner. In Thursday's final contest at approximately 7 p.m., No. 7 Michigan State faces No. 10 Purdue for the right to face No. 2 Nebraska on Friday evening.
Friday's quarterfinal round will begin at 11:30 a.m., with each first round winner playing in the same time slot as the previous day. The first semifinal is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, with the second semifinal scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. First pitch in Sunday's final is set for Noon.
BTN will provide live coverage of the Big Ten Softball Tournament semifinals and final, while Thursday's opening-round and Friday's quarterfinal contests will be streamed online at Huskers.com. Additionally, Brian Moline will broadcast all of the Illini games on WDWS 1400 AM and online on FightingIllini All-Access.
For complete coverage of the Big Ten Tournament, visit the tournament central website: http://www.huskers.com/bigtensoftball.