The Big Ten only had one matchup on Monday night, but it was one with significant postseason implications. Iowa was hoping to build its NCAA resume and secure a top four seed while Northwestern was hoping to avoid the Wednesday games in the Big Ten Tournament next week.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes 82, Northwestern Wildcats 61
Most expected this to be a pretty one-sided affair and that’s how things played out on Monday night in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early double-digit lead and never looked back from there, ultimately grabbing a 21-point win over the Wildcats. Keegan Murray led the way with 26 points, 18 rebounds, and three assists.
The win pushed Iowa to 21-8 overall and 11-7 in Big Ten play. It also continued an incredible run for Iowa over the last month, as the Hawkeyes have now won seven of the team’s last eight games, including three road wins and a blowout win over Michigan State. The run has pushed Iowa up to 14th on KenPom and into serious dark horse status for a big run in March. By any evaluation, Iowa’s playing some incredible basketball right now.
On the other side, Northwestern fell to 13-15 overall and 6-13 in Big Ten play with the loss. It was another tough one for Wildcat fans. The team has now lost five of its last six games and appears headed for a Wednesday game in the Big Ten Tournament, depending on how some tiebreakers work out. We’ll see how things end up shaking out.
Iowa will now prepare for a road game against Michigan on Thursday while Northwestern will hope to bounce back against Minnesota at home on Sunday. Both games figure to be pretty competitive.