Indiana is drilling Michigan State, 14-1, in the ninth inning. Michigan is doing much the same to Northwestern, as the Wolverines are up on the Wildcats, 11-1, in the bottom of the sixth. Ohio State is leading Iowa, 8-1, but it's only the fifth inning at Iowa City.
If these scores hold up, IU and OSU are in the conference tournament and NU is out. The bottom line for the Wildcats is they had to win this afternoon. A loss would eliminate them and hand the last two tournament spots to IU and OSU.
Certainly, an epic Wildcats' comeback remains possible, but if IU and OSU maintain their leads, even a NU win won't garner them a return visit to Ann Arbor next weekend.
The remaining three Big Ten affairs -- Penn State at Minnesota and a doubleheader between Purdue and Illinois -- are late starts. (I have to keep telling myself it's Saturday. My weekend days are based around the Big 10 baseball schedule. If it's the last conference game, it must be Sunday. Yes, I'm apparently one of Pavlov's dogs.) The Nittany Lions and Illini are fighting for positioning. Minnesota is out of the conference tournament chase and Purdue has already clinched the second seed.
I intend to provide more updates as the day progresses.
Update #1: It's official. IU and OSU round out the tournament field. Both won today and NU lost. Even without having the Penn State and Illinois finals to determine the third and fourth seeds, let me be brave and try to pencil in the tournament breakdown. Note: This is totally not official. Repeat: This is not official. It's just my guess.
Gm. 1 - #5 Ohio State vs. #4 seed (Illinois/Penn State) @ Noon
Gm. 2 - #6 Indiana vs. #3 seed (Illinois/Penn State) @ 3:30pm
Gm. 3 - Loser of Game #1 vs. Loser of Game #2 @ Noon (loser is eliminated)
Gm. 4 - Highest seeded winner of Games 1/2 vs. #2 Purdue @ 3:30pm
Gm. 5 - Lowest seeded winner of Games 1/2 vs. #1 Michigan @ 7:00pm
Gm. 6 - Winner Game #3 vs. Lowest seeded, loser Game 4/5 @ Noon (loser is eliminated)
Gm. 7 - Winner Game # 6 vs. Highest seeded loser Game 4/5 @ 3:30pm (loser is eliminated)
Gm. 8 - Winner of Game #4 vs. Winner of Game #5 @ 7:00pm
Gm. 9 - Winner of Game #7 vs. Loser of Game #8 @ Noon (loser is eliminated)
Gm. 10 - Winner of Game #8 vs. Winner of Game #9 @ 3:30pm (if Gm #8 winner wins, they are champs.)
Gm. 11 - Winner of Game #8 vs. Winner of Game #9 @ Noon (if necessary; winner is champion.)
Hat tip to NCAA-Baseball.com who provided the outline. How come they have this available, but I don't see anything of the kind at the Big Ten's official site? Did I miss it?
Don't forget, you can order your tickets on Monday morning. Michigan season ticket holders can order them now. (Assuming someone is in the ticket office on weekends.) If you are opting for bleachers, it's walk-up sales the day of the game.
Of course, seeing as how 98% of the people in attendance will have credentials or freebies of one kind or another, this annoucement probably doesn't concern the majority of you.