With the final pieces falling into place over the final weekend of the regular season, the field for the 2008 Big Ten Mens Soccer Championship is now set.
The tournament begins Thursday at the McClimon Complex in Madison with three opening-round games, followed by a pair of semifinals on Friday and the league championship game at noon Sunday. Big Ten Network will broadcast both the Friday and Sunday sessions live.
Wisconsin, which earned the No. 7 seed for the tournament, will face off with No. 2 seed and 12th-ranked Michigan in the third and final first-round matchup on Thursday, with game time set for 3:30 p.m.
Prior to that, No. 4 seed Northwestern and No. 5 seed Penn State will face off at 10:30 a.m. and No. 3 seed Indiana will meet sixth-seeded Ohio State at 1:30 p.m. in the other first-round matchups.
Michigan State, which earned the tournaments No. 1 seed by clinching the Big Ten regular season championship on Nov. 2, has a first-round bye and will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between Northwestern and Penn State at 11 a.m. on Friday.
The winner of the second quarterfinal, either Indiana or Ohio State, will take on the winner of the Wisconsin-Michigan quarterfinal matchup in Fridays second semifinal, at 1:30 p.m.
The two semifinal winners will then meet for the conference title and automatic NCAA tournament berth in Sundays championship match, which is set for noon.