Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Weekend In Review

It was a kind of a wacky weekend in the Big Ten. Illinois took two at Michigan, Northwestern dropped Minnesota twice and Michigan State went to Columbus and grabbed three of four from Ohio State. In spite of the upsets, the standings didn't change much.

Time doesn't allow me to give the usual game recaps, but the boxscores are linked after each result.

Illinois @ #26 Michigan
UM 4 ILL 3 (Friday)
ILL 7 UM 4 (Sat #1)
ILL 6 UM 3 (Sat #2)
UM 10 ILL 5 (Sunday)

Illinois walked into The Fish and took two from the nationally ranked Wolverines. The split in Ann Arbor helps Illinois maintain the last conference tournament spot. However, Illinois' B10 tourney slot isn't secure. The losses will drop Michigan's RPI. I also suspect this may drop Michigan out of a few national rankings (think, NCBWA).

Northwestern @ #30 Minnesota
NU 9 MIN 7 (Friday)
MIN 5 NU 4 (Sat #1)
MIN 5 NU 4 (Sat #2)
NU 6 MIN 5 (Sunday)

Props to the Wildcats for taking two from the Gophers. NU didn't have much to play for, other than pride, and the 'Cats hung with Minnesota all weekend. With Michigan dropping two over the weekend, Minnesota could have climbed closer to first place. After dropping two to the RPI challenged Wildcats, I have doubts the voters will look favorably on the Gophers. Obviously, Minnesota's RPI is going to take a hit, as well.

Purdue @ Penn State
PSU 4 PUR 1 (Sat #1)
PSU 11 PUR 2 (Sat #2)
PUR 6 PSU 1 (Sun #1)
PSU 7 PUR 3 (Sun #2)

The Nittany Lions take three of four and stay in a tie for third. PSU gets it's chance to make a statement next weekend with a trip to Ann Arbor. (Another pair of Saturday/Sunday doubleheaders are on the docket.) Purdue is still in the chase for a Big Ten Tournament berth, but lost a chance to move into top six.

Michigan State @ Ohio State
OSU 8 MSU 4 (Friday)
MSU 5 OSU 1 (Sat #1)
MSU 6 OSU 4 (Sat #2)
MSU 7 OSU 5 (Sunday)

Three big wins on the road for David Grewe's squad. Like Purdue, the Spartans are only one game behind in the win column from sixth place and a tournament invitation. (Of course, all of the cancellations have made the conference race a mess. We will need to keep winning percentage in mind as no two teams may play the same number of games this year.) The Buckeyes are now in fifth and facing a trip to second place Minnesota next weekend.

Indiana @ Iowa
UI 3 IU 2 (Friday)
UI 10 IU 2 (Sat #1)
UI 9 IU 0 (Sat #2)
IU @ UI (Canceled - rain)

Iowa takes the three games played. I wouldn't want to play the Hawkeyes right now. They are just crushing the baseball and added some strong pitching this weekend for good measure. Iowa is now in a tie for third place. IU might have eliminated itself from the B10 tournament field.

Here are the conference standings. The record in parenthesis is the overall record. The BW figure indicates Boyd's World pseudo-RPI mark as of Sunday night.

1. Michigan 17-3 (34-10) BW #41
2. Minnesota 14-5 (32-10) BW #34
T3. Iowa 14-8 (26-15) BW #80
T3. Penn State 14-8 (22-22) BW #110
5. Ohio State 12-10 (28-15) BW #85
6. Illinois 10-12 (22-22) BW #130
T7. Michigan State 9-14 (18-23) BW #118
T7. Purdue 9-14 (19-23) BW #157
9. Indiana 6-17 (16-28) BW #211
10. Northwestern 5-19 (13-32) BW #228

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