Sunday, May 11, 2008

Michigan Captures Big Ten

Isn't this what nearly every pundit suspected would happen? Michigan captured their third consecutive regular season Big Ten conference title this afternoon by taking two games from Minnesota. Michigan prevailed by scores of 11-5 and 12-8. Mike Dufek was the star of the day. Dufek hit a grandslam and drove in five in the opener and followed that with his third homer of the season and a three RBI effort in the finale.

By winning the Big Ten crown, Michigan now gets to host the conference tournament and earns a first-round bye.

Two games of importance got washed out. Michigan State at Purdue and Illinois at Ohio State were forced to cancel due to rain. Those games not played may yet figure into the make-up of the tournament field. Penn State, however, took another step closer to securing a post-season berth with an 11-8 triumph over Iowa. Ryan Boonie drove in three for PSU.

Indiana and Northwestern went 10 innings before the Hoosiers won, 14-12. Tyler Rogers had a 4 for 5 performance for IU.

After these results, the standings look like this:

Michigan 23-4
Purdue 18-9
Illinois 15-12
Penn State 15-13
Ohio State 13-13
Northwestern 13-15
Michigan State 12-14
Indiana 11-17
Minnesota 8-19
Iowa 8-20

(Note: The following is math related. You should know by now that mathematics and I are cordial, but not good friends. Thus, you should be more dubious than normal of the statements that follow.)

Michigan is the champion and hosts the tournament. Purdue, I believe, is in. I also think the Boilers' magic number to clinch second is one. Even if PSU were to sweep next weekend, Purdue would claim the tiebreaker with just one W because a better winning percentage (courtesy of fewer losses). If PSU sweeps and Illinois takes all four from Purdue, Illinois would also have fewer losses and, thus, a better winning percentage than the Nittany Lions. That would give the Illini second place. Minnesota and Iowa are eliminated. (Didn't see that coming in February.)

As for the rest of the scenarios, well, there are many, but not as many as just a week ago. I may take a stab at figuring this out, but I'm more than willing to accept help with all the post-season possibilities. (Yes, Frank, this means you.)

What of the final weekend? Here is your slate beginning Thursday afternoon:

Indiana @ Michigan State
Ohio State @ Iowa
Northwestern @ Michigan
Penn State @ Minnesota
Purdue @ Illinois

All five series have some bearing on the conference tournament race, so the last weekend should be fun. Congratulations to Michigan on back-to-back-to-back Big Ten titles.


NittanyBaseball said...

I just checked your math on Purdue, and you're correct.

There's still that interesting cluster of teams 3-8 that can still change a lot.

For those of you mathmatically challenged, I'll post it by games behind so you can get a better idea of what the standings look like:

Michigan -
Purdue 5
Illinois 8
Penn State 8.5
Ohio State 9.5
Northwestern 10.5
Michigan State 10.5
Indiana 12.5
Minnesota 15
Iowa 15.5

I was going to post some scenarios, but there are just too many, including some pretty wacky scenarios. Illinois could theoretically miss the post-season, Michigan State could jump to 3rd, Michigan State and Indiana can both get in.

Should be a fun weekend of baseball.

kowisja said...

I was trying some of the same. With weather in Columbus looking like rain it is very possible. If Illinois loses the first 2 games, 2 get rained out, and MSU/NW win out... no Illinois in the bracket. MSU has a fairly easy schedule. NW's hope is Michigan takes it easy (I highly doubt it as they will be jockeying for a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament as well).

Douglas said...

Two other miscellaneous notes about streaks continuing and ending from reading the newpapers online.

Michigan's sweep of Minnesota eliminated the Gophers from the possibility of making the Big Ten Tournament. This will be the first time that Minnesota did NOT make the B10 tournament since 1997. Minnesota had reached the championship round of the B10 tournament for the last 7 years.

Minnesota is now 18-33 overall. They will end the season with the first losing record since 1962. The first losing conference record since 1965.

With Michigan clinching the B10 regular season title, it eliminated Purdue from claiming that honor. Purdue last won the Big Ten Championship in 1909.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Congrats Michigan on the winning the Regular season title. Hopefully you Represent the Big Ten well in the NCAA's.I am planning to make the trip up next week for the Tourny i think.

The Thur-Sat. schedule this weekend is NCAA wide. I though maybe just a Big Ten schedule setup. From the MAC to the SEC.

I guess my question is why? Not that i care,i just wanted to know. Does it have to do with the NCAA Start date? Just asking

Big weekend of baseball coming up for teams 3-8 in the standings.I think if (if know what i am doing math wise) the Bucks need 3 wins and some MSU losses to make it in. My Michigan friends will take care of NW for us.

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