The 2019 Big Ten Tournament had two interesting games in the late segment on Friday night. Minnesota faced off against Purdue and Michigan hoped to get revenge on Iowa after dropping the only regular season meeting between the two.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-No. 7 Minnesota Golden Gophers 75, No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers 73
As I wrote earlier this week, this game wasn’t nearly as one-sided as many projected heading into Chicago. Minnesota was a team fully capable of beating the Boilermakers and proved it yet again on Friday night. The Gophers ended up shocking the league and scored a 75-73 win over Purdue to advance to the Big Ten Tournament semi-finals.
For Minnesota, this guarantees the Gophers an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Many were a bit uncomfortable with the team’s resume heading into this week, but with back-to-back wins over Penn State and Purdue, there’s no debating anymore. The Gophers will be heading to the Big Dance. But in the meantime, Minnesota will prepare for a matchup against the Wolverines on Saturday.
On the other side, Purdue really underwhelmed. Even if Minnesota was better than many thought nationally, this was a game the Boilermakers should have won. The team will have to try and get refocused for the NCAA Tournament next week.
-No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 74, No. 6 Iowa Hawkeyes 53
This one looked like it would be a close one heading into Chicago. While Iowa beat up on Michigan in Iowa City, few thought this game would play out in the same way, especially considering some recent struggles for the Hawkeyes. All told, that ended up being true, as Michigan raced out to a huge lead over Iowa and never looked back.
For Michigan, this was certainly a confidence booster. After falling to Michigan State last Saturday night, many were disappointed in how the Wolverines projected moving forward. But on Friday night, Michigan looked phenomenal. It looked like a team capable of winning the whole thing this weekend and going deep into March. Whether that holds up remains to be seen. Michigan will get back in action on Saturday against Minnesota.
On the other side, Iowa will now have to try and get things going again heading into the NCAA Tournament. With the win over Illinois on Thursday, Iowa should be in the Big Dance pretty comfortably. However, fans will be hoping that the team can show more fight next week than it did on Friday night.