Championship season is beginning for the IU women's swimming and diving squad as they travel to Columbus, Ohio for Big Ten Championships Feb. 14-17.
For the No. 8 ranked IU women, this is the part of the season the Hoosiers been looking forward to all season long. While their record (5-4), doesn’t impress many, their dual meet schedule was brutal as they faced seven of their nine matchups came against teams ranked inside the top-20.
The Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships will commence Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and conclude Saturday night. The entirety of the Big Ten Championships can be streamed live on the BTN2Go app on.
The Hoosiers come into the Championships on a two-meet win streak, after beating rival Purdue on Senior Day and taking down No. 10 Louisville on the road Jan. 26.
The rest of the Big Ten is also well represented in the newest CSCAA/TYR top-25 rankings. The highest ranked school is Michigan (No. 3) — the team that IU coach Looze said was the favorite to win the conference on the women’s side.
IU will have to overcome their hurdles against the Wolverines as they handily dismantled the Hoosiers just a month ago in Ann Arbor (180-120).
While there are five Big Ten teams ranked in the top-25, IU has only gone up against two during this regular season, No. 3 Michigan and No. 23 Purdue, whom they beat twice this season, once in the dual meet and once in the Purdue Invitational.
The IU women came in first place during the Purdue Invitational, beating the eight-team field and winning by a margin of more than 200 points. While that was back on Nov. 18, Purdue had revenge on their mind when they came to Bloomington on Jan. 20.
The Boilermakers came to town on Senior Day and IU fed off the full capacity crowd in the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center to deny Purdue of their revenge bid, with IU winning 176-123.
The Big Ten has six teams ranked inside the top-25; Michigan (No. 4), IU (No. 8), Ohio State (No. 13), Minnesota (No. 16), Wisconsin (No. 18) and Purdue (No. 23). The only other conference to have more teams ranked in the top-25 is the SEC (7), furthering the argument that the Big Ten is the best conference in swimming and diving.
The Big Ten Championships have been kind to the Hoosiers in recent memory as they have placed first or second in the past nine years. But at the same time, IU is hungry for that first place finish because they have came up short the past six seasons, finishing in second place.
The Big Ten Championship drought has been dreadfully long for IU and Looze as their last win came back in 2011 on the back end of their three-peat (2009-11).
Last season, 2017, provided another second place finish for the Hoosiers with a slim margin of defeat. Michigan squeaked out a close victory with 1,187 points, just ahead of IU’s 1,125 points.
The two schools have been at the top of the Big Ten standings and the top-25 rankings all year long and its finally time to settle it in the pool for a Big Ten championship once and for all.