Michigan State and Penn State earn top-two seeds and shares of the Big Ten Championship
The Big Ten announced on Sunday the bracket for the 2014 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, with Penn State and Michigan State collecting the top two seeds after each earned shares of the Big Ten Championship. With its win over Michigan on Saturday, the Lady Lions claimed their third-straight Big Ten Championship, while the Spartans clinched a share of the crown with their victory over Indiana this evening. The 2014 Big Ten Tournament will be played Thursday through Sunday, March 6-9, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Penn State and Michigan State finished with 13-3 Big Ten records, but due to their head-to-head win over the Spartans on Jan. 19, the Lady Lions earned the No. 1 seed. Nebraska and Purdue also earned first-round byes, entering the tournament as the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively. The Huskers finished the conference season with a 12-4 record, while the Boilermakers posted an 11-5 Big Ten mark.
The tournament will tip off at Noon ET on Thursday, as No. 8 Ohio State takes on No. 9 Northwestern, followed by No. 5 Iowa facing No. 12 Illinois at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday’s second session tips off at 6:30 p.m. as No. 7 Michigan challenges No. 10 Indiana before No. 6 Minnesota squares off against No. 11 Wisconsin. Although the Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten season with the same conference record as the Boilermakers, Purdue earned the No. 4 seed due to its head-to-head win over Iowa on Feb. 16. Minnesota and Michigan both posted 8-8 conference ledgers, but the Gophers earned the No. 6 seed due to its head-to-head victory over the Wolverines on Feb. 1. The Hoosiers, Wildcats and Buckeyes all ended the regular season tied for eighth in the Big Ten with 5-11 marks, but Ohio State earned the No. 8 seed based on its combined 2-0 record against both teams. Northwestern was 1-1 against the group to secure the No. 9 seed.
Friday’s quarterfinals tip off with top-seeded Penn State battling the winner of Thursday’s Ohio State/Northwestern game at Noon, followed by fourth-seeded Purdue playing the winner of the Iowa/Illinois matchup. Friday’s second session begins with second-seeded Michigan State facing the victor of Thursday’s Michigan/Indiana contest at 6:30 p.m. before the quarterfinals conclude with third-seeded Nebraska squaring off against the Minnesota/Wisconsin winner.
Big Ten Tournament semifinal games will be played on Saturday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The championship game tips off at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday games will be broadcast by BTN, while ESPN will carry Sunday’s title game.
Six different programs have won the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue has won nine titles to lead all conference teams, including the past two crowns. Tournament championship games have featured teams seeded as high as first, second and third and as low as sixth, seventh, and ninth. Nine different schools have advanced to the tournament’s championship game.
The complete tournament bracket, including game times and television information, can be downloaded as a PDF here.