Big Ten has 2 NCAA baseball tourney teams for 1st time since 2009 in league champ Purdue, MSU
The Big Ten Conference will be represented by multiple teams in the NCAA baseball tournament for the first time since 2009 when regional tournaments start Friday.
Big Ten tournament champion Purdue, which also won the league's regular season title for the first time in more than 100 years, earned the conference's automatic berth and Michigan State earned an at-large bid when the 64-team field was announced Monday.
The Boilermakers (44-12) are the first Big Ten team to host a regional since Michigan in 2008. They'll open against Valparaiso Friday at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind.
Michigan State (37-21) plays Pepperdine Friday at Stanford. The Spartans, who finished fifth in the Big Ten standings but had the league's second-highest RPI rating (45), are making their first NCAA appearance since 1979.
With the Big Ten considering radical changes to its baseball season to make its teams more competitive nationally, both teams face a big challenge in the tournament.
Only four conference teams have advanced to the round of 16 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999. There hasn't been a Big Ten representative at the College World Series since Michigan in 1984.
See the complete NCAA baseball bracket here.