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Hoosiers finish third in Big Ten.

IU secured the 3rd seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament in Columbus and will play 6 seed Purdue at 3:35 Wednesday afternoon.  Here is the bracket (pdf).   Only six of the Big Ten's 10 baseball teams (Wisconsin doesn't have one) qualify for the tournament.  It is a four day event and is double elimination.  In addition to IU and Purdue, #4 Illinois plays #5 Michigan State on Wednesday, and #1 Ohio State and #2 Minnesota have byes.  The BTT is a true double elimination tournament: if the winner of the loser's bracket wins on Saturday night, then the two teams play again on Sunday at noon.  The Big Ten Network will televise all of the games in both brackets. 

This is the 29th Big Ten baseball tournament (pdf; see p. 95).  The event began in 1981, and a trio of teams have dominated the event. Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio State, with 8 titles each, have won 24 of the 28 tournaments.  Illinois has won three times, and IU, which won in 1996, has one title.  Since Illinois won in 2000, the Big Three have won all of them.   For the first 19 years of the tournament, only four teams qualified.  The field expanded to 6 teams in 2000.

IU, although one of four teams to have won the tournament, is playing in the BTT for only the seventh time.  IU reached the tournament three times in the four team era (1991, 1993, and 1996) and this is now IU's fourth appearance in the last eight seasons (2002, 2003, 2008, and 2009).  IU won the tournament as the #2 seed in 1996 and last season, as the #6 seed, IU lost the opener to #3 Penn State.  The Hoosiers then eliminated #5 Ohio State, #4 Illinois, and Penn State before losing to #2 Purdue in the final game of the loser's bracket.  IU beat Penn State with a walk-off grand slam by Tyler Cox. 

I'll have more about the tournament and a look back at IU's season as the week transpires.