Indiana baseball is in ninth place in the Big Ten with six conference games to play.
The top eight teams in the 13-team conference race (Wisconsin doesn’t play baseball) advance to the Big Ten Tournament which will be played May 20-24 in Minneapolis.
Here’s a look at what Indiana will have to do to crack the top eight.
The top six teams appear pretty well set in the conference standings. Illinois (13-1) leads the way, followed by Iowa (13-2), Ohio State (12-3), Maryland (11-4), Michigan (11-7) and Michigan State (9-6).
Indiana’s first dilemma is that its final six games are against teams that are currently in third and fourth place: Ohio State and Maryland. The Hoosiers travel to Maryland for three and face Ohio State in the season-ending series in Bloomington.
So IU will likely have to win at least three games and maybe four to feel comfortable.
Nebraska has nine games to play. Six of them are against Northwestern and Purdue which have a combined 5-25 conference record. The final three-game set is at Illinois. The fact that the Ilini are in a tight race could bode well for the Hoosiers if Illinois needs those wins to capture a Big Ten title.
Minnesota has six games remaining and all six will be tough. The Gophers play at Iowa for the first three and then host Michigan State for the final three conference games.
One thing that is certain is that every conference game for Indiana moving forward is going to have huge meaning.