Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tournament Standings Update: Big Ten 7, BIG EAST 4

Friday's first three games of the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge saw Big Ten teams open with three straight wins (MSU over UConn, Michigan vs. USF, and Purdue over Cincinnati), but BIG EAST teams then won three straight (West Virginia over Indiana, Seton Hall vs. Minnesota, and St. John's over Penn State) before the Big Ten "slept on the lead" thanks to wins by Northwestern (vs. Georgetown) and Ohio State (against Notre Dame).

As the 24-game tournament nears its midpoint, it has somewhat of an odd Ryder Cup feel to it (minus the option to "half" points ... plus the fact that this baseball tournament is being played at multiple stadiums).

Anyway, the Big Ten's lead grew to 7-3 earlier today (after Minnesota beat WVU and IU topped GU), but the BIG EAST got back on the winning track – in a big way - when St. John's blew out Iowa.

So the tally now reads seven wins for the Big Ten and four in the BIG EAST's column, with three games currently in progress: MSU holds a 4-3 lead over SHU (which is about to bat in the 6th); Michigan is shutting out Cincinnati (3-0) early in the 5th; and Ohio State is taking on UConn (no score currently available, appears that the game may start as late as 6:00 eastern). The final two games later tonight will be ND vs. Illinois and Purdue taking on USF.

Sunday's games include: Michigan vs. SJU; OSU vs. Cincinnati; UConn vs. Northwestern; Iowa vs. Georgetown; WVU vs. Illinois; IU vs. USF; ND vs. Purdue; and PSU vs. SHU (plus a Big Ten vs. Big Ten game, MSU against Minnesota).

If the BIG EAST can find a way to win four of the five remaining games today, the tournament would be tied up (8-8) heading into Sunday's final slate.

Here are all the results so far in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge:

Michigan State 4, Connecticut 2 (in Clearwater)
Michigan 6, South Florida 5 (in Clearwater)
Purdue 11, Cincinnati 10 (in Clearwater)
West Virginia 14, Indiana 4 (in Bradenton)
Seton Hall 11, Minnesota 2 (in Clearwater)
St. John's 15, Penn State 6 (in Dunedin)
Northwestern 5, Georgetown 3 (in Bradenton)
Ohio State 2, Notre Dame 0 (in Dunedin)

Minnesota 5, West Virginia 4 (in Clearwater)
Indiana 12, Georgetown 4 (in Tampa)
St. John's 18, Iowa 3 (7 inn.) (in Clearwater)

(Big Ten vs. Big Ten games; non-tournament and non-conference)
Illinois 8, Iowa 3 (in Clearwater)
Michigan 4, Purdue 3 (10 inn.) (in Clearwater)
Penn State 9, Northwestern 1 (in St. Petersburg)

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