Posted by: Sports
The Big Ten will be well-represented at the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Championship, as seven conference teams have been selected to the tournament's field of 64. The seven chosen squads is tied for first among all conferences and marks the third time in the last four years that the Big Ten has sent seven or more teams to the national tournament.
Big Ten Champion Penn State enters the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, while No. 4 Nebraska and No. 8 Minnesota have earned top-16 seeds. Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue also received bids to round out the Big Ten contingent in the tournament.
After winning its ninth Big Ten title in the last 10 years and receiving the conference's automatic berth, Penn State will host first- and second round matches and will take on Binghamton in Friday's first round of the West Lafayette Regional. The Nittany Lions would take on either Bowling Green or Yale in the second round with a first-round win. The selection marks Penn State's 32nd tournament appearance.
Nebraska earns its 31st consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship and will host Maryland-Eastern Shore in the Omaha Regional on Thursday. With a win, the Huskers would meet Kansas State or Northern Iowa in the second round.
Minnesota enters the tournament as an opening-round site, welcoming Liberty to Minneapolis for the first round on Friday. The Golden Gophers earn a berth to the tournament for the 14th consecutive season and 18th overall and would take on either Creighton or Marquette in Round 2 of the West Lafayette Regional.
Michigan travels to Louisville, Ky., for its first-round match in the Berkeley Regional against Tennessee on Thursday. The NCAA bid marks the Wolverines' seventh in a row and 13th all-time. Michigan would advance to play No. 10 Louisville or Belmont with a first-round win.
Michigan State earns its second consecutive postseason berth and 15th in program history and will take on San Diego in Los Angeles in Friday's first round of the Berkeley Regional. The Spartans would meet either No. 7 UCLA or LIU Brooklyn in Round 2 with a win.
Ohio State makes its 19th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championship and fourth in a row, taking on Notre Dame on Friday in Lexington, Ky., as part of the West Lafayette Regional. The winner of the match will advance to take on No. 16 Kentucky or East Tennessee State.
Purdue enters the field of 64 for the eighth straight season and 15th overall and will take on Colorado State in Tallahassee, Fla., in the opening round of the tournament on Friday. The Boilermakers would take on either No. 9 Florida State or Hofstra in the second round of the West Lafayette Regional with a first-round win.
First- and second-round matches will take place on campus sites on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while regionals will be played at one of four sites on Dec. 7 and 8. Regional winners will advance to compete in Louisville, Ky., in the national semifinals on Dec. 13, with the national championship set for Dec. 15. All regional semifinal matches will be streamed on ESPN3.com, while regional finals will be broadcast on ESPNU. The national semifinals and final can be seen on ESPN2.