It took us a while to figure out who Iowa would be playing today -- Ohio State had to win not one, not two, but THREE games -- but now the game is set: Iowa-Ohio State, a rematch of Friday's extra-innings thriller. At stake? A Big Ten Championship -- and an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament.
WHO: #4 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (42-18 overall, 15-9 Big Ten)
WHAT: Big Ten Tournament Championship Game
WHERE: TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha, NE)
WHEN: 1:20 PM CT (Sunday, May 29)
TV: BTN (announcers: Kevin Kugler, Scott Pose, Danan Hughes)
RADIO: AM-800 KXIC (free), Hawkeye All-Access ($), TuneIn Radio*
*I'm not sure if the game will be on TuneIn Radio or not, but it's worth a shot.
Iowa will be the home game in the Big Ten Championship Game:
Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) May 29, 2016
OHIO STATE NOTES
Ohio State is still very, very hot -- they're 12-3 in their last 15 games... although two of those three losses are against Iowa. So that's nice. After losing a 5-4 heartbreaker to Iowa on Friday, Ohio State bounced back with a win over Michigan and a pair of wins over Michigan State (one last night and one this morning). On Friday, I noted that pitching was their biggest strength and that's probably true... but it's hard to say how much pitching they have left to use in this tournament. This is their sixth game of the Big Ten Tournament and two of those games have gone extra innings (just 10 innings, but still). There's a lot of mileage on their arms.
Ohio State's bats struggled during the regular season, but they've mostly been very good during the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa will need another strong pitching performance to keep them under wraps.
Ohio State: TBD
Who knows?! It's a mystery match-up. Iowa still has a pretty well-rested bullpen, so I'd expect Rick Heller to display a fairly quick hook with whoever the starter is if he struggles. One pitcher I would expect to see take the mound today for Iowa is Ryan Erickson -- he's started three games this season and pitched 47.1 innings this year, fourth-most on the team. Cole McDonald, Iowa's regular starter during week-day games, and Calvin Mathews, Iowa's injury-plagued third regular starter in weekend games, could also be options.
This is both the preview for today's game and the game thread, so feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.