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Minnesota Softball could win Big Ten title & set program records tonight

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Will the Gophers make history at Penn State?

@GopherSoftball

Fresh off sweeping the Big Ten Softball awards for the second week in a row, the #4 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers are poised to finish their regular season in style at Penn State. The Gophers not only control their destiny in the race for the Big Ten title, they could set two huge milestones in the program’s history with a win on Friday night.

What you need to know

  • Minnesota’s magic number is 2. For an outright B1G title and the #1 seed in the Big Ten Softball tournament the Gophers must win 2 games, have Michigan lose 2 games, or win 1 game with Michigan losing 1 game. The Gophers can still lose the Big Ten regular season title if they’re swept by Penn State while Michigan sweeps Rutgers. They can only tie Michigan by losing 2 of 3 to while Michigan sweeps or by being swept while Michigan wins 2.
  • A win Friday night sets two school records. If Minnesota beats Penn State on Friday night they would set the all-time program record for consecutive wins with 20 (the team has reached the current record of 19 in a row twice this season). They would also set the program record for wins in a season at 49. This latter record is sure to fall very soon, but doing so while also setting a record for consecutive wins would be doubly sweet.
  • Saturday’s game airs live on Big Ten Network! If you can, make sure to check out the Gophers at 1 PM CT on Saturday (5/6). If they win Friday night the game will be for an outright Big Ten Title!
  • Minnesota probably loses all tiebreak scenarios to Michigan. While the Gophers would share the B1G regular season title with a tie, they probably don’t have a shot at a #1 seed in the conference tournament if that happens. The B1G doesn’t appear to have published clear tiebreakers on their website (I have asked for clarification). However, my guess is that they use same tiebreaking procedures as B1G Baseball. If that’s true, Minnesota would lose either tiebreak scenario thanks to a lower winning % versus common B1G opponents in the conference season:

1) If two teams are tied in the final regular season standings, the following tiebreaker shall be used to determine the automatic qualifier and/or higher seed in the conference tournament:

I. If the tied teams have not played each other as part of the conference schedule, move to the next step in the tiebreaker process. If the two teams played each other as part of the conference schedule, the winner of the game or series of the games between the two tied teams shall automatically qualify for the tournament and/or earn the higher seed.

II. If the teams are still tied, the team with the best winning percentage against Big Ten common opponents within the conference schedule shall automatically qualify for the tournament and/or earn the higher seed.

  • The Gophers are a lot better than Penn State. It’s not just about their records, Minnesota is a statistical juggernaut.

I fully expect the Gophers to win the Big Ten outright this weekend. No matter what happens, this has been an amazing season so far!

How to watch

While only Saturday’s game is available on BTN, the Friday and Sunday games will be streamed online by Penn State.

Friday’s game

When: 5pm CT

Watch: Penn State video feed

Live Stats: Here

Saturday’s game

When: 1pm CT

Watch: BTN2Go.com and the BTN2Go app

Live Stats: Here

Sunday’s game

When: Noon CT

Watch: Penn State video feed

Live Stats: Here

GO GOPHERS!