All nine Big Ten teams are still standings in the NCAA tournament, of course, seven have yet to play. They are all on the court Friday.
On Thursday, Wisconsin won its 13th match in a row by eliminating Pac-12 Oregon, 25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19. Lauryn Gillis had 14 kills to lead the Badgers at the UW Fieldhouse.
Wisconsin took third in the Big Ten and expects to go deep in this tournament. The Badgers are seeded No. 6 overall and draw Iowa State next on Friday in the second round. The Cyclones swept Miami 3-0 but all the sets were close, four points, two and five.
Unseeded Purdue was the other Big Ten winner. The Boilermakers took out SMU 25-27, 25-17, 28-26, 25-16 in Austin, Texas. Four Purdue players had between 11 and 14 kills.
Next up for Purdue, which gave the Gophers their only loss in the past 18 matches, is No. 3 seed Texas. The Longhorns won 3-0 over Fairfield.
Four other seeded teams -- there are 16 in all -- all won, too. No. 8 Stanford defeated New Mexico State, No. 9 Kansas topped Furman and No. 11 Florida defeated New Hampshire, all by 3-0 scores.
And then there was No. 1 Southern Cal, playing at home at Galen Center, against Cleveland State. The visitors won the second set before falling. Surprisingly somewhat, Cleveland State was No. 67 in RPI rankings and had a 26-6 record, so on paper, USC got tougher draw than the Gophers.
U plays Jackson State, No. 310 in the RPI.
BEST FRIDAY MATCHUP
Second round/ Kansas (27-2) vs. Missouri (27-5) in Lawrence.
"Actually, we thought Missouri had a great chance to host, so they’re probably a little disappointed in that, but at the same time, they’ve had an unbelievable year, and I’m sure they got consideration," Jayhawks coach Ray Bechard said.
"Nobody on our team has played Missouri, and I don’t think anybody on Missouri’s team has played us. [Tigers coach] Wayne Kreklow and I have been around long enough that we understand over the years it’s been a big match -- anytime those two teams get together in anything.
We just know that they’re a very good team, and they’ve had a great year, and I’m sure they feel like they’ve got a great opportunity to advance.
For me, growing up in Kansas and being here 18 years, obviously we’ve had a lot of great matches against Missouri and had a lot of competitive opportunities over the years. It’s different now, obviously, with two different conferences going on.
Still, once again, for people who have been around our athletic department for a while, been around their athletic department for a while, and fans who have been around for a while with both schools know that anytime they get together, obviously it’s significant."
Missouri won its first round match 3-1 over Missouri State and the Tigers, for the first time this season, were ranked in the AVCA poll this week at No 25. Kansas was No. 9 -- same as its tournament seeding.
WHERE BIG TEN TEAMS ARE FRIDAY
Des Moines Regional
Jackson (Miss.) State at No. 2 Gophers, 7:30
Howard at No. 7 Penn State, 7:30
Illinois vs. Southern Illinois in Louisville, 5 pm
Purdue vs. No. 3 Texas in Austin, 7
Iowa State at No. 6 Wisconsin, 8
Michigan vs. Santa Clara, 8:30 in LA
Michigan St. vs. Arkansas St., 8 in Seattle
Robert Morris at No. 12 Ohio State, 7
Howard at No. 4 Nebraska, 8