As Indiana prepares to play Nebraska today for the Big Ten Tournament title in Omaha at 2 p.m. ET, the big question is whether or not the Hoosiers have already done enough to earn a national seed or if IU would need to win today to guarantee that.
Why is a national seed so important?
The top eight seeds overall are considered the protected, national seeds. Each of these eight teams will host a Regional and if they win that Regional they are guaranteed to host a Super Regional, too.
Having every game at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington paving your way to a return trip to the College World Series in Omaha would be a significant accomplishment. It certainly doesn't guarantee anything but it improves your chances playing in a ball park where Indiana has posted a 37-6 record in two seasons of existence. IU is 18-3 at home this season and has averaged 2,572 fans per game for those 21 dates.
The NCAA Tournament announcement will come out at Noon on Monday out of the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.
There's a chance that the Hoosiers will be a protected seed win or lose today. IU's RPI is No. 4 in the nation going into the Big Ten Tournament and you certainly wouldn't expect it to be hurt by facing a top 20 Nebraska team today in the final.
Perfect Game, a site devoted to amateur baseball, has a story today looking at projecting the national seeds. It takes into account games through today. It lists Indiana right now as the No. 5 seed overall.
Here's a link to that story: Projecting the National Seeds
Indiana obviously would do itself a big favor today by beating Nebraska but even in a loss the Hoosiers could still find themselves securing a national seed.
We will know for sure by this time tomorrow (Monday).
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