The Iowa basketball team will be the No. 5 seed in this week’s Big Ten basketball tournament and could face a second meeting with Illinois in its opening game.
The Hawkeyes, who finished the regular season with a 71-61 victory over Michigan on Saturday night, finished tied with Maryland, Wisconsin and Purdue for third place in the final Big Ten standings at 12-6, 21-9 overall. Based on the tiebreaker, which is how those teams fared against one another, Maryland is the third seed with Purdue fourth and Wisconsin sixth.
Regular-season champion Indiana received the No. 1 seed with Michigan State, which is ranked No. 2 in the nation, being seeded second.
Iowa’s first game will be Thursday at about 1:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network against the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 12 seed Illinois and No. 13 Minnesota. The Illini claimed an 84-71 victory a week ago against the Golden Gophers, who are down to just five scholarship players because of suspensions and injuries.
The tournament gets underway Wednesday at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with that Illinois-Minnesota encounter at 3:30 p.m. followed by a game between No. 11 Nebraska and No. 14 Rutgers at about 6 p.m.
If Iowa is able to win Thursday, it would play again at 1:30 p.m. Friday against Purdue. That game would be televised by ESPN.