AH TV: Iowa baseball eager to defend Big Ten Tournament championship from a year ago

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Rick Heller speaks with the media at Monday's press conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa baseball team had no margin for error during its three-game series sweep of Penn State to end the regular season this past weekend, and not much will change heading into the 2018 Big Ten Tournament.

It is widely believed that Iowa, with an RPI in the 60s, will have to win at least two or three games in the conference tournament in order to make for the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons under head coach Rick Heller.

Iowa will face Michigan in the first game of the tournament at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at TD Americade Park in Omaha, Neb. The Hawkeyes have won five games in  a row and finished the regular season with records of 33-18 overall and 13-9 in the Big Ten.

Iowa also ended Michigan's 20-game winning streak in late April and won two of the three games in the series at Banks Field.

Coach Heller and select members of the team met with the media on Monday to discuss the conference tournament and what it'll take for Iowa to make the NCAA Tournament.

A loss to Penn State would've meant that Iowa had to win the conference tournament for the second consecutive year to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. But by sweeping the Nittany Lions, Iowa has maybe given itself a little wiggle room. 

The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa won the conference tournament for the first time last season and finished runner-up the year before. So the players are used to the environment and know what it takes to be successful.

Here are multiple video interviews featuring Heller and the players from Monday press conference at Banks Field: