The field and bracket is set for the 2017 Big Ten Baseball Tournament. Beginning Wednesday, and running through next Sunday’s title game, Bart Kaufman Field will play host to these eight teams, battling for the Big Ten’s automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament.
#1 Nebraska 16-7-1 Big Ten, 34-18-1 overall
#2 Michigan 16-8, 42-13
#3 Minnesota 15-8, 33-19
#4 Maryland 15-9, 34-19
#5 Iowa 15-9, 34-19
#6 Indiana 14-9-1, 32-20-2
#7 Northwestern 13-11, 24-28
#8 Purdue 12-12, 29-25
The action begins with sixth-seed Indiana taking to their home field in a 10 a.m. contest against the tournament’s third seed, Minnesota. That is one-half of the top bracket, where the winner will take on the victor of the 1:30 p.m. game between second-seed Michigan and seventh place finisher Northwestern.
In the bottom bracket, Nebraska, the Big Ten champions, will square off against eighth-seeded Purdue, taking the field at 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. The winner between the Huskers and Boilermakers will take on the winner from the day’s finale, an 8:30 p.m. contest between fourth-seed Maryland and fifth-seed Iowa.
The Big Ten Tournament is a double-elimination format, until the winner-take-all title game.
Last year, Ohio State won four games over the final two days to win its first Big Ten Tournament since 2007 and move into a tie with Michigan and Minnesota for the most tournament titles at nine. The Buckeyes absence from the conference tournament is their first since 2010, putting an end to the longest active streak. Appearing in their sixth straight tournament, Indiana and Nebraska now share the active lead.
With a 65-45 record, outside of Maryland’s 5-3 record in two trips, Minnesota holds the Big Ten’s top conference tournament winning percentage, at .591 and are set it appear in a conference-leading 31st tournament. The Gophers last won the conference tournament in 2010, the last time it was played on a Big Ten campus.
Michigan is making its 26th appearance, last winning the title two years ago in Minneapolis’ Target Field. The Wolverines are 50-36 in Big Ten Tournament play.
Indiana has done well of late in the Big Ten Tournament, taking home the 2013 and 2014 titles to go with their 1996 and 2009 wins. Indiana’s four titles are tied with Illinois for fourth in Big Ten history. Appearing in their 14th tournament, the Hoosiers have won 26 tournament games against 20 losses.
The lone other team in the field with a Big Ten Tournament title in its history is Purdue. The last time the Boilermakers reached the Big Ten Tournament, 2012, the Black and Gold returned with the title. Making their 17 appearance, Purdue is 18-30 all-time in the conference’s tournament.
Hoping a late-season run carried over into the postseason, the Iowa Hawkeyes are looking to claim its first Big Ten Tournament. Iowa is making its fourth consecutive Big Ten Tournament under Rick Heller, reaching the tournament for the 12th time. Last year, the Hawkeyes fell a game shy of the title, finishing runners-up for the third time. Iowa heads to Bloomington with a 12-21 record in Big Ten Tournament play.
And seeking to pair its first Big Ten championship with its first Big Ten Tournament title, Nebraska leads the field into action as the top seed. The Huskers are 8-9 in the Big Ten Tournament over the previous five seasons, falling runners-up to Indiana in 2013 and 2014, but are currently on a four-game losing streak with back-to-back 0-2 showings.
Indiana has a tournament central page set up for tickets, directions, the bracket and more. All games will be broadcast live by BTN.