The 2022 NCAA Tournament got into full action on Thursday with a plethora of great games on the docket. And three Big Ten teams participated with some pretty surprising results.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 12 Richmond Spiders 67, No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes 63
Heading into Thursday, few teams were receiving more hype than Iowa. While only a five seed, Iowa was coming off a remarkable month of play, concluding with a Big Ten Tournament title last Sunday. It seemed like nobody was playing better than the Hawks and the team had gone 12-2 in the 14 games before the Tourney.
Unfortunately, that all went out the window on Thursday.
Despite holding their own defensively, Iowa’s offense could never get going against Richmond on Thursday. Three of the team’s starters were held to six points or fewer and Iowa eventually finished with a putrid 0.91 points per possession. Jordan Bohannon had a particularly rough night, finishing with just six points in 33 minutes of action. Ultimately, Iowa ended up falling by a 66-63 final score. It was the team’s worst scoring performance since a loss to Rutgers on the road in January.
The loss was one of the more shocking ones of the day on Thursday and will send Iowa home. The Hawkeyes will finish at 26-10 overall and one of the harder resumes to evaluate. On the one hand, Iowa put together a solid regular season and won the Big Ten Tournament, meaning a banner will be getting raised regardless of Thursday’s outcome. On the other, losing a game like this is inexcusably bad. Richmond is a respectable enough opponent, but had no business beating a team as loaded as the Hawks.
The next few months will be rough ones in Iowa City. And it’s not even just because of the loss itself, but what it represents. Having a player like Keegan Murray on your roster and getting sent home in the Round of 64 is a bitter pill to swallow. Fran McCaffery and staff will now have to retool for next year.
-No. 5 Saint Mary’s Gaels 82, No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers 53
While Hoosier fans were hoping Indiana could build off Tuesday’s win against Wyoming in this one, that wouldn’t end up being the case. Saint Mary’s proved to be too much for the Hoosiers, utterly dominating the game from start to finish and roasting what had been a really solid Indiana defense for much of the last few months. By halftime, it was clear the game was over. The teams eventually even got the walk-ons involved.
For Indiana, most are going to be disappointed with this result and rightfully so. While Saint Mary’s is a really good team, the Hoosiers weren’t 30 points worse than them this season. It was simply one of those nights where everything goes wrong. However, it was still a successful season for the program. Getting back to the Tourney was a huge step in the right direction in Bloomington. We’ll see if they can build on that in the offseason.
-No. 11 Michigan Wolverines 75, No. 6 Colorado State Rams 63
This one was the tale of two halves. Despite starting horribly and getting down double-digits early, Michigan flipped the script by halftime and went on an absolute tear after that, eventually scoring a 12-point win over a pretty solid Colorado State team. Hunter Dickinson led the way with 21 points and six rebounds. Frankie Collins also had quite a showing, finishing with 14 points in place of DeVante’ Jones, who was in concussion protocol.
The win pushed Michigan to 18-14 overall and into a Saturday evening matchup with Tennessee on Saturday. KenPom currently favors the Vols by six points in that one. We’ll have to see if the Wolverines can pull off an upset there.