What a season for Purdue Baseball.
The Boilers were picked to finish 11th in the league. After sweeping Michigan this weekend (which was their 5th sweep in 8 league series) they finished the regular season at 34-18 and 17-6 in the conference. That’s good enough for second place behind league champion Minnesota (37-13, 18-4).
With an RPI of 40 Purdue is in excellent shape to earn just its third ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. To feel totally secure a win in the double elimination Big Ten Tournament would probably move us to lock status. That event gets underway Wednesday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
Wednesday (All games on Big Ten Network)
#3 Michigan (32-19, 15-8) vs. #6 Iowa (33-18, 13-9) 10am ET
#2 Purdue (34-18, 17-6) vs. # 7 Ohio State (34-20, 14-10) 2pm ET
#1 Minnesota (37-13, 18-4) vs. #8 Michigan State (20-30, 11-12) 6pm ET
#4 Illinois (31-18, 15-9) vs. #5 Indiana (37-15, 14-9) 10pm ET
A couple of rainouts means that Iowa played two fewer games than the 24 game schedule, and that was enough for them to slide into the 6 spot. It also means Purdue will open with Ohio State. The Buckeyes took 2 of 3 from Purdue last weekend in Columbus, but at No. 41 in the RPI a win over OSU would give Purdue a valuable top 50 win and likely lock up an NCAA Tournament berth.
I do think that Purdue needs to get one win in the tournament to fully secure an NCAA berth. Right now we’re in good shape. We’re on the positive side of the Bubble, but it wouldn’t be wise to give the selection committee an 0-2 conference tournament appearance as an excuse. We currently only trail Minnesota and Indiana in the Big Ten in terms of RPI, but Illinois (50), Ohio State (41), Michigan (55), and Iowa (67) are all in the hunt. A little something to separate ourselves and even give us an extra game or two against another top 50 team would be nothing but good.
We will enter the tournament having won 18 of 20 games, making us one of the hottest teams in the country. If we beat Ohio State our second game will be against the Michigan-Iowa winner on Thursday at 5pm ET. A loss means we play the Iowa-Michigan loser at 9am ET Thursday.
Here is your full bracket. Purdue has a lot to play for, but is in excellent shape for even more.