Big Ten baseball momentum could slow with no nonconference games

Sports

FILE – In this June 8, 2019, file photo, Michigan head coach Erik Bakich gestures during an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game against UCLA in Los Angeles. The Big Ten’s decision to prohibit its teams from playing nonconference baseball games this season likely will cost the league when it comes to NCAA Tournament selections. Without nonconference games or a conference tournament this year, Michigan coach Erik Bakich said the only way to guarantee an NCAA bid is to win the regular-season title or finish second. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

(AP) – The Big Ten’s decision to prohibit its teams from playing nonconference baseball games this season likely will cost the league when it comes to NCAA Tournament selections.

The Big Ten season opens Friday with teams traveling to neutral sites where bad weather shouldn’t interfere.

Of the 31 Division I baseball conferences, only the Big Ten and Metro Atlantic have barred nonconference games and the Ivy League is not playing.

NCAA Division I Baseball Committee chair Jeff Altier said it will be difficult to evaluate Big Ten teams against those from other conferences. He said the Big Ten decision surprised him.

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