The Big Ten only had one game on Thursday night, but it was a significant one for the league standings and two teams’ postseason hopes. Iowa went on the road to face Indiana and was hoping to grab a key road win. Instead, it lost by double-digits.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Indiana Hoosiers 89, No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes 77
Anytime you put two teams against each other in mid-February with NCAA implications on the line, it’s going to make for a compelling matchup. And that’s what we got on Thursday night, as a ranked Iowa team hoping to lock up another NCAA bid prepared to face a desperate Indiana hoping to rebound after four straight losses.
Unfortunately for Iowa, things didn’t go well.
Indiana jumped the Hawkeyes out of the gate and really never looked back. Iowa had a nice run in the second half, but were never really in a position to walk out with a win. All told, the Hoosiers grabbed an 89-77 win to improve to 16-8 overall. With the loss, Iowa dropped to 17-8 and 8-6 in league play.
For Indiana, it’s hard to undersell the importance of this game. The Hoosiers had not only lost four in a row, but really needed to add another marquee win. And the team did that on Thursday night, scoring the team’s fourth win over a top 25 KenPom opponent this season. It also sets up Indiana for a race to the finish line, as the team is now projected to finish around 18 or 19 wins. That figures to be right where the NCAA bubble cuts off. The team will return to action on Sunday on the road against Michigan.
On the other side, Iowa has now lost three of its last five games and will have to hope to get back on track on Sunday against Minnesota. The recent skid has killed Iowa’s Big Ten title hopes, but a solid NCAA bid remains in play. Each game will now take on an extra level of importance.