Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, May 19, 2015

There's a lot of excitement surrounding the 2015 Big Ten Baseball Tournament.

[ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Baseball Tournament page ]

Not only does the tourney feature the world's hottest team in Illinois, which has won a nation's best 26 consecutive games, it also includes Indiana, the two-time defending champ and winner of nine of its last 10, No. 21 Iowa and Maryland, which was one win away from making last year's College World Series.

Basically, the eight-team, double-elimination tournament figures to be an entertaining one.

[ MORE: Check out the 2015 All-Big Ten teams & individual winners ]

Before No. 3 Michigan and No. 6 Indiana start things off at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, asked former Iowa star and current BTN analyst Danan Hughes to preview the event.

Follow Hughes on Twitter (@dahughesguy83). This will be the best Big Ten baseball tournament since ?
Danan Hughes: Since 2011. There were not only captivating games played in that tournament, but there was the most parity I'd seen in a long time. Illinois was very fun, athletic and competitive, Purdue was on the rise with stars Kevin Plawecki and Cameron Perkins, MSU was solid throughout its lineup with Big Ten Player of the Year Jeff Holm, OSU was solid, as well, with freshman Josh Dezse and others. Any team could've won any game. True or false: Illinois is better than the 2013 and 2014 Indiana teams?
DH: True. Although Indiana had the ability to change the game with the power of the Bash Brothers (Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis), this Illinois team to me has some of that, too, plus deep pitching. To know that you have the luxury of having enough strength to just be ahead into the seventh inning of any game, then pass the ball to a closer like Tyler Jay is a benefit that puts them over the top for me. We all know about Illinois and Iowa?s great seasons. How about a Big Ten tourney sleeper?
DH: Maryland. The Terps were a nationally ranked team not too long ago. They experienced great success in 2014, and although they were slowed down late this season, you have to believe that past success and experience of winning down the stretch could benefit them in Minneapolis. Which pitching staff is best built for the Big Ten tourney format, and why?
DH: It has to be Illinois. As I mentioned earlier, the Illini have deep pitching with three starters under a 2.35 ERA, and it's always a huge advantage when a team can hand the ball to a closer the quality of Tyler Jay. Dugout interviews are popular this time of year. Which coach or player is your favorite interview?
DH: (Nebraska head coach) Darin Erstad. He's extremely intense, but his players are very loose. They have a tendency to display antics behind him during the interview. Hilarious, because it's a weird dichotomy. More entertaining: Players having fun announcing team?s lineup pregame, or player videobombs during in-game coach dugout interviews?
DH: Illinois always does a great job with the pregame lineups, but the videobombs during the in-game interviews are classic, especially during a tight game or from the losing dugout. It?s the bottom of the ninth and there?s two outs, which Big Ten player do you want at the dish?
DH: If I need a hit to get things going, it's Michigan State's Ryan Krill; if I need to clear the bases, it's Illinois' David Kerian. What is your favorite stadium for the Big Ten tourney?
DH: TD Ameritrade. It was incredible last year – just an unbelievable atmosphere. I believe a tournament at Hawks Field in Lincoln, Nebraska, would be awesome too.