Indiana Daily Student

What to know about No. 20 IU women's basketball in the Big Ten Tournament

<p>Junior Jaelynn Penn attempts a shot Feb. 27 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU will compete in the Big Ten Championships at 2:30 p.m. March 6 in Indianapolis. </p>

Junior Jaelynn Penn attempts a shot Feb. 27 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU will compete in the Big Ten Championships at 2:30 p.m. March 6 in Indianapolis.

No. 20 IU women’s basketball finished its best regular season in program history Sunday with a 78-60 win over Michigan.

Now the team will turn its focus to the Big Ten Tournament, where it will begin play at 2:30 Friday. The Hoosiers are the fourth seed and earned a double bye due to their 13 Big Ten wins this season.

IU’s 23 wins are the most it has ever had entering postseason tournament play, and ties the most ever in program history.

The team has also spent a program best 17 straight weeks in the AP Top 25. The Hoosiers never once dropped out of the top 25 and reached as high as No.12.

But in the postseason, records and rankings don’t matter all that much since every game is a single elimination. That’s where upsets can come into play.

The team's No. 4 ranking in the tournament means it will have to wait a couple days before it knows who it's playing Friday afternoon. Until then, here’s what the Hoosiers will need to do to make their way through the Big Ten Tournament and win the championship for the first time since 2002.

IU's history in the Big Ten Tournament

Historically, the Hoosiers haven’t had a great deal of success in the Big Ten Tournament, with a record 17-26 in 25 previous tournament appearances.

Including the title run in 2002, IU has won multiple games in the tournament only three times. The Hoosiers have not won more than one game since 2006.

IU has won each of its last two tournament opening games. A win Friday would put the Hoosiers into the semifinals.

Quarterfinal matchup

IU’s first game of the tournament will be against the winner of the Wisconsin and Rutgers or Illinois matchup Thursday.

Illinois and Wisconsin play at noon Wednesday to determine who plays Rutgers on Thursday. IU went 3-0 against Illinois and Wisconsin this season.

Rutgers finished with an 11-7 conference record, right behind IU for fifth in the Big Ten. IU came out on top in the lone meeting between the two schools this season. The Hoosiers won 66-56 at the RAC in Piscataway, New Jersey, on New Year’s Eve.

Junior guard Jaelynn Penn led IU offensively with 14 points, while Rutgers junior guard Arella Guirantes led all scorers with 23 points.

Semifinal matchup

If IU wins its quarterfinal game Friday, it will go on to play the winner of Michigan State and Maryland or Purdue at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The Hoosiers would most likely play Maryland on Saturday, barring a major upset.

The Terrapins are No. 6 in the country and won 14 straight games to finish off the regular season as co-Big Ten champion with Northwestern. Maryland is the favorite to win the Big Ten tournament this year.

Maryland won both meetings against IU in the regular season — a 76-62 win at home and a 79-69 win at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall two weeks later.

Sophomore guard Grace Berger, who was just named to the coaches' All-Big Ten First team, led IU with 21 points in the first game. Junior guard Ali Patberg, a consensus All-Big Ten First teamer, scored 16 in the second meeting.

If these two teams meet in the semifinal, it would be the first time since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten that they face off against each other in the tournament.

Final matchup

If IU wins in the semifinal, it would most likely play either Northwestern or Iowa in the final — the tournament’s two and three seeds respectively.

The Wildcats had their best year in 30 years, and the Hawkeyes are looking to repeat as tournament champs.

IU lost against both teams this year, including a double-overtime thriller at Iowa and a heartbreaking loss at home against Northwestern.

If IU wins out in the tournament, there is a chance it could reclaim a top-four seed and home court advantage for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student