BIG TEN CONFERENCE TRACKER
Friday’s first round
No. 2 ranked Minnesota def. Bryant 3-0
No. 3 Illinois def. Eastern Michigan 3-0
No. 6 Nebraska def. Hofstra 3-0
No. 7 Penn State def. Howard 3-0
No. 12 Purdue def. ETSU 3-0
No. 18 Michigan def. Navy 3-0
Friday’s second round
No. 8 Wisconsin def. Pepperdine 3-1
Tionna Williams, Wisconsin: The middle blocker had 14 kills and hit .458 to lead the Badgers in the second round win against Pepperdine. That makes Wisconsin the first Big Ten team to reach the Sweet 16. Wisconsin has reached the Sweet 16 six straight years.
Paige Hammons, Florida: The outside hitter had 14 kills to lead No. 16 Florida to a sweep against Florida Gulf Coast University in the second round. On Thursday, FGCU got its biggest win in program history by beating 21st ranked Central Florida. Playing in its first NCAA Tournament, FGCU also got its first win ever against a ranked opponent.
Illinois vs. Louisville: This is a matchup of head coaches who were assistant coaches at Nebraska at the same time, with Chris Tamas for Illinois and Dani Busboom Kelly for Louisville. Illinois is on a 14-match winning streak.
Purdue vs. Kentucky: The winner here is the team Nebraska could match up with in the Sweet 16. Many will be watching this one closely, eager to see how the sixth-place team in the Big Ten stacks up against the SEC champion.
Michigan vs. Pittsburgh: At 30-1, Pitt is having its best season ever. Michigan is the only Big Ten team in this region, where Texas got a favorable path to the Final Four.