Michigan to host Big Ten tournament

It seems nothing can stop Michigan this weekend.  So far, they have gone 3-0 against Iowa (including two 1-0 shutouts today!) and have clinched their 33rd Big Ten title.  In doing this, they have home-field advantage and a first-round bye. 

Northwestern, with one game left tomorrow, have at least clinched second place and the second first-round bye in the tournanment.

Illinois with some luck, may make the tournament.  They lost last night and the first game of today’s doubleheader against Michigan State.  They finally rebounded with a 4-3 win in the second game. 

They were helped by Michigan whose opponents were Iowa.  Going into the weekend, Iowa was one game behind the Illini.  They are now out of the picture.  Penn State was the only other real competition.  Ohio State split with them today but that was enough to prevent them from making a run at the last tourney spot. 

Current Standings (going into Sunday):

2005-06 Big Ten Overall
Teams W L T Pct. W L T Pct.
Michigan 22 9 0 .710 37 18 0 .673
Northwestern 20 11 0 .645 24 31 0 .436
Ohio State 18 12 0 .600 34 19 0 .642
Minnesota 16 14 0 .533 29 24 0 .547
Purdue 15 16 0 .484 30 24 0 .556
Illinois 14 17 0 .452 28 26 0 .519
Penn State 13 18 0 .419 20 35 0 .364
Michigan State 13 18 0 .419 25 29 0 .463
Iowa 12 19 0 .387 23 32 0 .418
Indiana 11 20 0 .355 22 33 0 .400

On a personal note, I was looking forward to attending the Big Ten tourney had it been in at Northwestern’s home turf in Evanston.  It would have been my second tourney in two years as I attended last year’s here in C-U when the good guys finished first.  I took pains to get the time off of work, get accomadations, everything.  I just don’t think finances are going to allow me to travel to Ann Arbor.

Update/Correction:  I corrected the standings as of Saturday.  The Illini are indeed in a do-or-die situation Sunday.  A Michigan State win would put the two teams in a tie for 6th place and MS would win the tie-breaker for Big Ten tournament eligibility because of their series win.

Go Illini!

Update:  Bottom of the 8th of Sunday’s game, Illinois up 6-0. 

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