After Nebraska's win over Penn State to close out the regular season, head coach Tim Miles was asked on his postgame radio show about the Huskers' upcoming trip to New York City and Madison Square Garden for the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa had a few shots to tie the game with a 3-pointer in the final minute, but it came up short time and again vs. a MI team that had Moe Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman on the bench fouled out.
But the Wolverines still somehow advanced to play Nebraska in today's tournament quarterfinals.
Robinson also proved to be the savior of the day at the free-throw line, making two on two attempts in the final minute of overtime to seal the win for the Maize and Blue.
"I spent a lot of time watching guys I knew I could find myself competing against this year". Many of the Badgers' young players are starting to come into their own limiting turnovers and scoring at a greater efficiency.
IL started strong in the second half. The Hoosiers went on to win that game by twenty-four and I've got a feeling the same thing happens here.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes will try to avoid going 0-3 against MI this season. The 3s didn't go in. I think I am going to talk with a single-minded goal. "Our defense won the game".
It paid off. Iowa got to the foul line 29 more times than IL on Wednesday and had a 34-9 edge in made foul shots as the No. 12 Hawkeyes advanced with a 96-87 victory over No. 13 IL at Madison Square Garden.
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"That's what tournament play is - physical", Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey said. "And they were physical and moved their feet". Reality. "I don't think any team can sustain that". The second key for a Penn State victory is better defense from the five spot on the floor.
The Illini (14-18) continued making runs throughout the game but Iowa led for 38:59. They split a pair of games, with Minnesota winning 77-72 at Williams Arena on January 21 and Iowa winning 92-84 on February 2 in Iowa City. His increase in playing time will continue in the conference tournament as he will average over 10 minutes and put up 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game as a big spark off the bench.
A big reason Iowa had a lead at the break was the difference in 3-point shooting. Matthews tacked on a free throw in the final second. MI had missed its first 12 3-point attempts, when Robinson found the range from deep.
McKeown said there was frustration specifically in the first, but added that his team did a good job of fighting their way back and slowing down Iowa on offense.
Iowa had a 20-9 advantage in second-chance points thanks to its 12 offensive rebounds. Bohannon scored 25 points and had six assists, including a bounce pass to Luka Garza for a jam with 34 seconds left to keep the Illini at bay. MI jumped out to a 33-15 lead and forced Nebraska i nto a 1-for-20 shooting stretch in the first half.
"With just how the guys competed, they left us with no choice other than to do it this way, " Brands said. This year, MI is a No. 5 seed, arriving in NY riding a five-game winning streak. But the Wolverines' Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman missed the front end of a one-and-one. "And their size bothered us", IL coach Brad Underwood said.