Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes 80, Indiana Hoosiers 77
By any objective measure, this was a game few saw coming on Saturday. Indiana entered the Big Ten Tournament squarely on the NCAA bubble and seemed to have an uphill battle to even win one game, let alone two straight. Additionally, while Iowa seemed like a dakrhorse title contender, the team still had to go through two dangerous opponents to get to Saturday. It all seemed unlikely.
However, both teams took care of business, setting up quite a matchup on Saturday. And the game lived up to the hype. The teams battled all afternoon. Indiana took a modest lead early, Iowa battle back, and the two teams kept it tight throughout the second half. Eventually, the game was tied and then ended on this shot:
For Iowa, it’s hard to get much better than that. The Hawkeyes have been red hot for much of the last month and it continued on Saturday. It’s been a special run thanks to a variety of players, but primarily Keegan Murray and Jordan Bohannon. The win will push Iowa into the Big Ten Tournament final on Sunday against Purdue. It figures to be a really tight matchup.
On the other side, Indiana fell to 20-12 overall with the loss. And while losing at the buzzer won’t be easy for fans to stomach, few even expected the Hoosiers to be here, so it’s hard to complain too much. Indiana did what it needed to do in Indy and earned its way into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Tom Crean was in Bloomington. We’ll have to wait and see if that bid will come in the First Four or the Round of 64, but it’s progress for the program.
-No. 9 Purdue Boilermakers 75, Michigan State Spartans 70
The late game was also an intriguing one. Purdue faced off against a dangerous Michigan State team that had delivered two notable wins in just as many days. Unfortunately for Spartan fans, Purdue pulled away near halftime and Michigan State didn’t have enough to keep pace. The final score ended up relatively close, but the result wasn’t in doubt for the final portions of the game.
Purdue will now move into the Big Ten Tournament final for the second time since 2018 and the third time since 2016. Should the Boilermakers win, it would be the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title since 2009 when Robbie Hummel led the squad.
On the other side, Michigan State fell to 22-11 overall with the loss. The Spartans will now await their fate on Selection Sunday. The team is a clear bet to make the field, it’s just clear where it will land. Expect something in the range of a six to eight seed.