will be michigan's highest pick in a while
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|5 hours 41 min ago||Dates & times announced||
The dates and times for the super-regional games against Louisiana-Lafayette have been announced.
Game 1: Friday, 2:00 pm (ESPNU)
Game 2: Saturday, noon (ESPN)
Game 3 (if necessary): Saturday, 3:00 pm (ESPN)
|15 hours 4 min ago||Super-regional matchups are set||
Only 3 of the top 16 seeds failed to advance to the super-regionals this year:
#16 Texas A&M at #1 Oklahoma
Dates and times should be announced before noon tomorrow.
|15 hours 20 min ago||Yes||
Yes she was. Michigan only managed 2 hits in 5 innings off of her, but one of the hits was a 2-run homer by Ashley Lane. The other Michigan run scored on back-to-back fielding errors, and Wallace struck out 7.
Driesenga gave up 4 hits and an unearned run in the winning effort.
|16 hours 53 min ago||Good catch.||
I think it's just a filler right now; this is traditionally released late Sunday night or Monday morning. Other than that, there's nothing on either the Michigan website, the ULL website or the NCAA website listing times or dates for the games.
|16 hours 57 min ago||Sounds good to me.||
I was behind the first base dugout looking straight down the base line from first to second, so I couldn't tell whether the call was right or wrong; I have no idea whether it was playable. I had basically the same angle as that second base umpire you mentioned, but I was looking at it from the other side.
Yes, the plate umpire did a good job overall (balls & strikes seemed pretty reasonable from where I sat, and she did a good job to hustle down to third base to get right on top of the call when the Cal cleanup hitter tried to stretch a double into a triple). I don't like seeing an umpire get angry, though--it's just not part of the job description. No matter what Hutchins said to her before, the ump has to walk away from the dispute as long as Hutchins is also walking away.
|17 hours 33 min ago||So far...||
12 of the 16 regionals are complete. The super-regional matchups:
(#16 Texas A&M or Baylor) at #1 Oklahoma
2 of the super-regionals are Thursday-Friday, 3 are Friday-Saturday and 3 are Saturday-Sunday. The NCAA will assign each super-regional to a date/time after consulting with ESPN. Every super-regional game from every site will be on an ESPN network (either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU). No more online streaming.
The super-regional format is a simple best-of-3: game 1 on the first day, game 2 & (if necessary) game 3 back-to-back on the second day.
|17 hours 46 min ago||Interference||
I think you are right that the interference call depends on whether Lane had a shot at the ball (see the NCAA softball rule book, rule 11.20; that section you quoted is not from the NCAA rules). The umpire had to determine if Lane had a chance at the ball. I would need to see a replay, but it's arguable that she had no chance to get there. Rule 1.81 states that obstruction can be intentional or unintentional, so I assume that this is what was called: unintentional obstruction by Lane.
The first base umpire signalled a delayed dead ball, which would mean obstruction. If it had been interference, the correct call would have been an immediate dead ball. The plate umpire did not overrule the base umpires, but supported the call. The third base umpire had made the same signal.
The plate umpire's actions in the discussion after the incident were indefensible. Hutchins had completed her dispute, was walking back to the dugout, and the umpire followed her all of the way to the dugout while shouting at the back of her head. He was clearly attempting to prolong the confrontation, or perhaps even to escalate it.
|17 hours 57 min ago||I would say it.||
I was there. I stand by my statement: Sunday's Michigan-Cornell game was not good hockey compared to Friday's game or Saturday's game. The Sunday game was much slower. I suppose if you saw the game and thought otherwise I can't argue: in the end, I guess it's a matter of taste.
If you recall, Michigan started its backup goalie (Gordon) on Sunday, because Shields was not 100 percent after playing 2 straight days. Cornell rested their starter for about 10 minutes in the second period in each of the 3 games. I don't want to see a playoff game decided by backup goalies, or by whose starter is less exhausted.
It was fun for the fans (playoff hockey is certainly fun for fans, especially if you are stealing cheers from the other team), but the quality of the hockey was not there on Sunday.
|19 hours 33 min ago||You're right.||
A 4-team double elimination tournament regional requires a team to play up to 5 games (Cal would have played 5 games if they had won their first game today). You can play 5 games in 3 days in softball (they do 5 games in 4 days in baseball), but 5 games in 5 or 6 days is way too much for hockey.
3 games in 3 days gives you terrible hockey, I don't want to imagine what a 5th game in 5 or 6 days would look like. That's too much time commitment you are asking of the teams and the fans.
It's a good idea, but just not workable. I would be all for a best-of-3 series for the first two rounds, though (like they did back in the late 1980's).
|1 day 15 hours ago||Complicated.||
The tiebreaker was very complicated. It actually depended on what place they tied for. Michigan would have won the tiebreaker if they had tied for 6th, but Illinois held the tiebreaker if they had tied for 5th.
They tied for 5th, so Illinois gets the 5 seed.
|3 days 12 hours ago||Even simpler than that: 1 win = in.||
Yes, of course it won't matter nearly as much if we lose a tiebreaker for 5th instead of the tiebreaker for 6th. Also, WolverineBlue seems to be correct that Michigan's magic number is actually 1, no matter what Illinois does. If Michigan goes 1-1 the rest of the way, ending up at 14-10,there are 3 possibilities:
(1) Illinois wins 2, resulting in Minnesota ending up at 12-9 (behind Michigan)
(2) Illinois & Minnesota split, resulting in Illinois ending up at 14-10 with Michigan winning a tiebreaker for 6th if Michigan State happens to sweep Penn State.
(3) Minnesota wins 2, resulting in Illinois ending up at 13-11 (behind Michigan)
So no matter what happens, 1 win puts Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament...assuming they still use the same tiebreaker that they did last year.
|3 days 13 hours ago||I really hope they don't do that.||
I'm worried that they will do that at Fisher Stadium. That's just wrong.
Fortunately they can't do that at the softball field; the NCAA requires real dirt on a softball infield.
|3 days 13 hours ago||This is strange.||
The same statement appears on the Illinois website, but it appears not to be true, at least based on the 2012 tiebreaker rules. According to this tiebreaker release from last year (I don't see one from this year), the second tiebreaker would be record against the top 6.
If Michigan State finishes ahead of Michigan & Illinois, that would put 7 teams in the top 6, with Michigan and Illinois tied for 6th. Right now, Michigan is 5-5 against those teams and Illinois is 5-8, which would mean that Michigan would win the tiebreaker.
If Michigan State finishes 7th, then Michigan is 2-5 against the rest of the top 6 and Illinois is 4-6, so Illinois would win the tiebreaker.
So the answer appears to me to be that if Michigan & Illinois tie for 6th, Michigan wins the tiebreaker. If they tie for 5th (or better), Illinois wins the tiebreaker. Of course, this contradicts what Illinois is claiming here:
But I think they are wrong (unless the Big Ten changed the tiebreaker before this season).
|3 days 14 hours ago||???||
What?!? That's hilarious, but no. Just no.
You have given me an idea, though. Be on the lookout for "Mgofieldhockey"!
|3 days 18 hours ago||Sounds worse than it is...||
When you take into account that they play 4 or 5 games in 3 days just about every weekend in February and March, it's not really that bad.
It only took 6 road trips in 6 weeks to play their first 28 games. The rest of the schedule was conference games and a few home non-conference games.
|3 days 18 hours ago||Great preview||
Good preview. I don't think we can understate how good a pitcher Henderson was earlier this year; what I can't tell is whether she is 100 percent right now after missing 3 weeks in late April/early May. I would also add that Michigan's defense is not very good at turning batted balls into outs, and so the more strikeouts the better.
Not really an expert, but...those RPI's are all wrong. Are they maybe from last year? Or earlier this season?
http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/softball/d1 has the latest rankings.
Michigan is #8, not #11
Arizona is #29, not #8
The Pac-12 has 5 of the top 19, not 7.
|1 week 25 min ago||Yes and no.||
It's an interesting regional; California might be the best team outside of the top 16: they were #17 in RPI going in to last week, and would probably have been in the top 16 if their #1 pitcher had been healthy the entire season.
On the other hand, Valparaiso and Central Michigan should by all rights both be #4 seeds. Neither of them is in the top 100 in RPI. I assume that the NCAA assigned a very very weak #3 seed because they had assigned a very strong #2 seed.
It all depends on how you measure the toughness of a regional. It is probably one of the toughest in terms of the likelihood of the top seed to advance, but it is just about the easiest in terms of the likelihood of the 3-seed or the 4-seed to advance.
|1 week 1 hour ago||No re-seed in WCWS||
They don't re-seed, so if Michigan and Oklahoma both advance to Oklahoma City, they will play each other in the first round.
There is a twist in how they do the double elimination brackets compared to the men's CWS, so two teams from the same half of the bracket could end up meeting again in the finals. For example, if Michigan advances but loses to Oklahoma, they could still end up working their way back through the brackets and could possibly end up playing Oklahoma again in the best-of-three finals (if Oklahoma has certain results as well), and the result of the earlier game between the two teams would be erased.
|1 week 1 day ago||5th place||
1. Minnesota (12-5)
With 4 games to go (except 3 for OSU and 1 for Northwestern). Top 6 make the conference tournament. A win tomorrow would be big, since the last 3 games are at Nebraska.
|1 week 2 days ago||Lefty v Lefty||
Let's consider that this was just to get the right matchup for Michigan.
Ohio State's batter Evelyn Carrillo was 3-for-3 against Driesenga yesterday, and is a .316 hitter overall this season. More importantly, she bats left handed. Michigan only needed one out, and remember that the return rule in softball allows you to make a pitching change and then bring the starter back one time.
Lefty Haylie Wagner was brought in to pitch to a batter who Driesenga had not been able to get out, and Wagner had the favorable matchup. I'm sure that if the change had not worked, we might have seen Driesenga back in the circle. That was clearly the right move for that point in the game--not because Driesenga was struggling, but because Wagner had a better chance of getting that particular batter out.
|1 week 2 days ago||Great win||
It does even better than keeping us in 6th; it actually moved us up to 5th.
1. Indiana (14-5)
Michigan has 2 more against Purdue and 3 at Nebraska. MSU has 2 more at Iowa and 3 at Penn State. Illinois has 2 more against Penn State and 3 at Minnesota.
MSU has the easiest schedule, but a couple more wins for Michigan on Saturday & Sunday will give us some breathing room for next weekend.
|1 week 5 days ago||OSU the night before the football game!||
I like the season-ending series with Minnesota. If all goes well, that series could be for the championship. I really, really like hosting Ohio State on the Friday night before the football game.
What I don't like is no home games between November 29 and January 31. Hopefully we have a non-conference series in there somewhere.
Also, people were making it sound like the games would be scheduled all days of the week, but at least for Michigan all of the home games are still Friday and Saturday--6 on Friday and 3 on Saturday.
|1 week 5 days ago||Yes, absolutely.||
IF Michigan wins the Big Ten softball tournament this weekend, they should receive a top 8 seed. Right now, Michigan is #7 in the RPI. Even better for Michigan is that they are surrounded by 5 SEC teams in the RPI standings (#5 LSU, #6 Alabama, #8 Kentucky, #9 Tennessee, #10 Missouri). Since the SEC also has a single-elimination tournament, that means at least 4 of those 5 teams, and probably all 5, will lose a game this weekend.
I think with a Big Ten tournament championship, Michigan maintains its position in the RPI and gets a top 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. With Nebraska at #11 in the RPI, we will probably see exactly one Big Ten team, whether Michigan or Nebraska, get a top 8 seed. I'm guessing 3 SEC (Fla, LSU, and 1 of Ala or Ky or Tenn), 2 Pac 12 (Oregon, ASU), 2 Big 12 (Tex, Okla) and 1 Big 10 (Mich or Neb) in the top 8.
The top 8 seed would mean that Michigan would host a super-regional if they win their regional. Michigan's 20-game winning streak at Alumni field is a pretty good reason to want to host.
|1 week 5 days ago||Sorry--not much insight.||
The championship site was pre-selected about a year ago; I have not heard anything regarding where the 2014 tournament will be, though.
I'm pretty sure the site is going to be rotated. There are several other B1G sports, including field hockey, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, tennis, track and golf, where the conference championship rotates among those schools willing & able to host it. I would assume that Michigan will eventually get its chance.
Some teams won't be able to host the tournament, either because they don't have lights or because they can't handle a crowd (I would assume there is a minimum number of seats that the conference would require) or they don't have the press facilities. That's certainly not something that would keep Michigan from hosting, though.
|2 weeks 17 hours ago||Big Ten Tournament||
The B1G playoffs are almost set. If Nebraska beats Penn State tomorrow, the teams will be seeded #2 Nebraska, #3 Minnesota, #4 Wisconsin. If Penn State upsets Nebraska, the teams will be seeded #2 Minnesota, #3 Wisconsin, #4 Nebraska.
Friday's quarterfinals, all times Eastern:
#4 v (#5 Northwestern or #12 Indiana), 12:30
If Michigan is not upset on Friday, they will likely have a tough matchup against Wisconsin or Nebraska on Saturday in the semifinals. I think Wisconsin and host team Nebraska are Michigan's toughest challengers for the title.
The semis and the finals will be broadcast on BTN--Michigan's semifinal (if they advance) is 3 pm EDT Saturday and the Big Ten Championship game is at 1 pm on Sunday.
|2 weeks 18 hours ago||Omaha next year||
In 2014, the Big Ten Tournament will be in TD Ameritrade Park (where they have the College World Series every year). I think that's a great idea, and I wouldn't mind if it went back there every few years.
Since they seem to be looking for Major League/AAA size parks close to a Big Ten member, and since Indianapolis is probably out of the question Memorial Day weekend, there are only a few options: Columbus, Minneapolis and Omaha are obvious, but it would be great to get the tournament into Wrigley Field or Comerica Park one time.
They seem to want to have it near a B1G baseball "power" (OSU, Minnesota and Nebraska for 2012-14), so once Michigan gets back to the top of the standings I think the Big Ten might want to give Toledo a shot--a Michigan-Ohio State game at 5th/3rd Field in Toledo would be a huge draw, relatively speaking.
|2 weeks 19 hours ago||Good shot at making the B1G tournament||
Right now it's a 4-team race for the B1G title: Minnesota (11-4), Nebraska (12-5), Indiana (12-5) and Ohio State (13-7) are all within a half game of each other. Nebraska is at Minnesota next week and Indiana is at Ohio State the week after that. The winner will come from those four teams.
The race Michigan is concerned about is the 3-team race for the last 2 playoff spots: Michigan State (9-6), Michigan (10-8) and Illinois (9-9). Michigan State ends the season at Iowa and at Penn State, so they should be favored to get one of the 2 spots in the 6-team tournament. Michigan ends the season hosting Purdue and at Nebraska; Illinois hosts Penn State and is at Minnesota. A sweep of Purdue next weekend should get Michigan into the tournament.
Once the tournament starts, I wouldn't bet against Michigan. They struggle to score runs, but Michigan allows the fewest runs per game in the conference, and has 4 starting pitchers (Szkutnik, Hill, McAnallen, Bourque) who can beat anybody on a good day. It would be a stretch to put together 4 upsets in a row, but they are exactly the type of team that can make it happen--a deep starting staff and an adequate bullpen.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||I think you're both confused.||
If Lincoln had debated Douglass in 1858, it could have been even more important historically than his actual debates that year, which were against Douglas.
(OK, I acknowledge that this post was a little too close to a spelling flame, but the distinction between Frederick Douglass and Stephen Douglas is rather important).
|2 weeks 5 days ago||15, I think.||
I think the maximum number of games in Division II (11 regular season plus 4 playoff) and Division III (10 regular season plus 5 playoff) is 15, not 16.
I guess it's possible that an FCS team could play 11 games plus 5 for 16, but the 4 play-in winners are unlikely to advance to the FCS championship game, so I think the "real-world" maximum is still 15.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||4 teams?||
In the interest of accuracy, there are a lot more than 4 teams that will play 14 games.
Every team that participates in a conference championship game (game #13) and is invited to a bowl will play 14 games. Also, any team that plays at Hawaii and is invited to a bowl will also have the ability to play 14 games. All told, that's 10-15 teams that will end up with 14 games.