John Cook says "brutal" Big Ten deserves seven NCAA Tournament teams
From: Big Ten Conference
Seven Big Ten volleyball teams were selected to the 2019 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, with first and second round matches held Dec. 5-7. The seven bids mark the 27th consecutive season that at least six Big Ten volleyball teams have been selected for the tournament. Five of the top sixteen seeds are Big Ten programs.
Big Ten Champion Wisconsin enters the tournament as the No. 4 overall seed. Nebraska earned the No. 5 seed, Minnesota was chosen as the No. 7 seed, Penn State earned the 11th seed, while Purdue is the 16th seed. Michigan and Illinois received at-large bids to the tournament. Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue will host first and second round contests.
After winning its sixth Big Ten title and the first since the 2014 season, Wisconsin takes on Illinois St. on Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET in the first round. With a win, the Gophers would face the winner of the Notre Dame-UCLA match. Wisconsin is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance.
The fifth-seeded Cornhuskers make their 38th trip to the NCAA Tournament and will host Ball State at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. If Nebraska advances it would meet UNI or Missouri in the second round.
Seventh-seeded Minnesota will entertain Fairfield at 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday. With a first-round win, the Gophers would face Iowa State or Creighton in the second round of the tournament. Minnesota is making its 24th appearance in the Tournament.
Penn State enters its 39th NCAA Tournament and will face Princeton on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The winner of the match will advance to take on American or Townson.
Sixteenth-seeded Purdue enters its 21st NCAA Tournament and will play Wright St. on Friday at 7 p.m. ET in the first round in West Lafayette, Ind. With a win, the Boilermakers would face the winner of the Marquette-Dayton match.
In its 26th NCAA Tournament appearance, Illinois, will take on Utah in the first round on Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET in Provo, Utah. If Illinois advances it would face the winner of the New Mexico vs. BYU match.
Michigan received a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th time and will face Northern Kentucky in the opening round on Friday at 5 p.m. ET in Lexington, Ky. If Michigan wins, the Wolverines would face either Kentucky or Southeast Missouri in the second round.
First- and second-round matches will be played December 5-7 at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will continue to regional play December 13-14. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced on December 8. At each site, four teams will compete in single-elimination regional semifinal competition.
The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final hosted by Dusquene, SPORTSPittsburgh on December 19-21 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The national semifinal matches will broadcast on ESPN, and the championship match will broadcast on ESPN2.
All regional and championship site match times can be found on the attached championship bracket or online at www.ncaa.com/volleyball.
To apply for final site credentials in Pittsburgh visit www.ncaa.com/media.