SOC: Huskers push for postseason comes down to final day of Big Ten play

Photo by Pat Radigan

Nebraska’s postseason fate will be decided based on Wednesday’s results across the conference.

UPDATE (9:30 p.m.): Minnesota beat Nebraska 1-0 in overtime, eliminating the Huskers from Big Ten contention.

UPDATE (9:00 p.m.): Iowa beat Illinois 1-0, and Wisconsin knocked off Penn State 1-0 in games that kicked off at the same time as Nebraska.

UPDATE (7:45 p.m.): Purdue beat Maryland 2-0 to secure its spot in the Big Ten tournament field.

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): Michigan lost to Rutgers 1-0, which eliminates the Wolverines from contention for the Big Ten tournament.

Story by Pat Radigan

Huskers can punch Big Ten ticket with a win, will need help with a loss or draw

Senior Night for any sport is always an emotional event, but for the Nebraska soccer team there’s more on the line than sending off the seniors in style.

Depending on Wednesday’s results, the Huskers can wind up anywhere from the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten tournament, to missing the postseason party altogether. The remedy is simple: Win, and you’re in. Beyond that, though, the details of Nebraska’s postseason journey will play out on a busy final day of Big Ten play.

As mentioned above, the Huskers secure a bid to the Big Ten tournament if they can beat Minnesota, who currently sits tied for third in the league. A win doesn’t guarantee a seed for Nebraska though, and the Huskers can still qualify in a few different ways if they fall to the Gophers.

Instead of trying to explain it all at once, we’re going to break it scenario-by-scenario.

The Standings

1st – Ohio State – 24 points
2nd – Penn State – 21 points
3rd – Minnesota – 19 points
3rd – Northwestern – 19 points
5th – Rutgers – 18 points

6th – Wisconsin – 17 points
7th – Nebraska – 14 points
8th – Purdue – 14 points
9th – Michigan – 12 points
10th – Iowa – 11 points

The Games

Michigan AT Rutgers (UPDATE: Rutgers defeated Michigan 1-0)

Maryland AT Purdue (UPDATE: Purdue defeated Maryland 2-0)

Penn State AT Wisconsin (UPDATE: Wisconsin defeated Penn State 1-0)

Iowa AT Illinois (UPDATE: Iowa defeated Illinois 1-0)

Minnesota AT Nebraska (UPDATE: Minnesota defeated Nebraska 1-0 in overtime)

If Nebraska wins

The Huskers are in. Yet even with a win, Nebraska can still be seeded either 7th or 8th depending on other results.

If Nebraska ties

Nebraska would need a little help, but it eliminates Iowa from contention. In the case of a tie, the Huskers would need Michigan to lose or draw OR Purdue to lose or draw to secure the Huskers entrance to the Big Ten tournament.

Seeding would still be either 7th or 8th depending on other results. The key takeaway is that the Huskers will only be eliminated if they tie, and both Michigan and Purdue win.

If Nebraska loses

Nebraska still makes the Big Ten tournament if both Michigan (AT Rutgers) and Iowa (AT Illinois) lose or draw. If Nebraska loses and either team wins, the Huskers will be eliminated due to Michigan’s better record and a tiebreaker with Iowa.

Now, on to the seeding part of this puzzle…

Nebraska will be the No. 7 seed if…

Due to Nebraska’s five ties, and the conference’s tiebreaking policy that favors wins, the Huskers can tie for 6th place but cannot be seeded higher than No. 7.

If Nebraska wins and Purdue loses, the Huskers will finish at the No. 7 seed no matter what happens in the Wisconsin match. If Nebraska wins and Purdue wins, then the Huskers will need Wisconsin to get a win or draw against Penn State to earn the No. 7 seed. The Huskers beat Purdue earlier this year, and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, but would fall behind Purdue in a three-way tie.

Nebraska can also get the No. 7 seed with a tie. If both Nebraska and Purdue tie, the Huskers are guaranteed the No. 7 spot. Even if Michigan were to win and create a three-way tie, it would still be Nebraska as the 7th seed and Purdue as No. 8 due to the Boilermakers win over Michigan.

The Huskers can also still hold on to their current 7th spot in the conference standings with a loss, but that would require a loss by Purdue, and Michigan and Iowa to both lose or draw. (See exception)

Nebraska will be the No. 8 seed if…

If Nebraska wins, Purdue wins and Wisconsin loses, that puts the three teams in a tie for 6th. Nebraska did not play Wisconsin this year, so as far as we can tell that would make “wins in conference play” the deciding factor. That would put a 4-2-5 Nebraska team as the No. 8 seed with the other two teams finishing with 5 wins in this scenario.

If Nebraska ties, and Purdue wins, then the Huskers will need Michigan to lose or draw and NU will finish as the No. 8 seed outright.

If Nebraska loses, and Purdue wins or draws, then the Huskers will need both Iowa and Michigan to lose or draw to finish as the No. 8 seed outright. Should the Huskers lose, Purdue loses and Iowa wins

Nebraska is eliminated if…

Nebraska ties, Michigan wins and Purdue wins.

Nebraska loses, Purdue wins or draws, and either Michigan or Iowa win. If NU loses AND Purdue loses, and both Michigan and Iowa win, Nebraska and Purdue would be eliminated.

Makes sense right? To keep up in real time, follow along with @huskers_W on Twitter, or keep checking back with this post as we update the results of tonight’s action.

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