The Big Ten only had one game on Sunday, but it was a significant one with Iowa going on the road to face Indiana. The Hawkeyes were desperate to bounce back after a loss to Ohio State, while Indiana was hoping to boost its NCAA resume.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Indiana Hoosiers 67, No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes 65
When these two teams met in late January, Iowa was absolutely rolling. The Hawkeyes had won five straight and seemed destined to play a role in the Big Ten title race and March Madness. So, when Indiana went on the road and knocked off Iowa, heads turned nationally. At the time, it was widely regarded as one of the biggest upsets in Big Ten play this season and seemed like it could ignite Indiana’s efforts to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
However, both teams have struggled since that meeting. Iowa lost two of its next three games and the Hoosiers have lost twice, falling at home in both outings. And the team’s resumes have suffered accordingly. Iowa has now faded significantly in the Big Ten title race and Indiana is barely holding on to an NCAA spot in ESPN’s latest bracketology.
This made Sunday’s game a crucial one for both sides. Iowa had a chance to get back on track and Indiana could work to build its resume. And the game largely played out that way. It was competitive throughout and ended up going down to the wire before Indiana pulled out a narrow 67-65 win. Race Thompson led the way with 15 points and six rebounds.
For Indiana, it’s hard to overstate the importance of this win. It should be a huge boost for the Hoosiers heading into Selection Sunday and pushed the team to 10-8 overall and 5-6 in Big Ten play. Indiana desperately needed another win like this and got it on Sunday.
On the other side, it’s hard to feel good about where Iowa is headed. The Hawkeyes have now lost two straight and four of the team’s last five games. Iowa has also now gone more than a month without beating a top 40 KenPom opponent. Not exactly encouraging stats for a team that was supposed to compete for a national title.
Moving forward, Indiana will prepare for a road game against Northwestern on Wednesday. Iowa will hope to bounce back on Wednesday at home against Rutgers.