What to Expect: Iowa at Indiana
Indiana returns home for two games at Assembly Hall to close the regular season. First up, the Hoosiers will host Iowa on Tuesday. The Hawkeyes are 18-11 and 10-8 in the Big Ten.
Tuesday’s game will tip at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2:
Indiana’s 79-71 win at Purdue put the Hoosiers in a four-way tie for second place in the Big Ten standings. With two home games to finish the regular season, Indiana can help its Big Ten and NCAA tournament seeding with a strong finish. (You can map out the Big Ten tournament seeding scenarios here.)
Indiana’s first of two home games this week is against Iowa, which won the first matchup this season 91-89 in Iowa City. That contest was Indiana’s first against a high-major opponent without Xavier Johnson and also saw Race Thompson go down with a knee injury. The Hawkeyes played without Patrick McCaffery.
Iowa won its last game 112-106 in overtime in thrilling fashion against Michigan State, but lost its previous two games by a combined 32 points against Northwestern and Wisconsin on the road.
THE FIRST MEETING
Indiana’s 91-89 loss against Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 5 was arguably its worst loss of the season.
The Hoosiers built a 21-point lead in the first half, led by 10 at halftime and six with under four minutes remaining. Defensively, Indiana was a mess after halftime. Iowa scored 51 points in the second half for 1.45 points per possession.
Indiana also shot poorly from the free throw line as it connected on just 17 of its 26 attempts (65.4 percent). Iowa hit 88 percent of its free throws. The Hawkeyes also grabbed four more offensive rebounds than Indiana and scored four more second-chance points.
The officiating also was the subject of postgame discussion from Mike Woodson. After already being assessed a technical foul, Fran McCaffery walked past halfcourt and near the IU bench in the second half. Referee Paul Szelc appeared to signal a technical foul on McCaffery, but didn’t follow through with it.
“I’m not even going to comment on that. Because that’s bull—-. That’s what it is. And you can print that,” Woodson said postgame. “Because, again, when you can allow coaches to come across halfcourt into your space, that’s bulls—-. It is.
… He (the official) did call the tech and he pulled it back, which was bulls—. Guy (McCaffery) should’ve been thrown out of the godd— game.”
In addition, Jordan Geronimo was given a delay of game technical foul by referee Courtney Green for throwing the ball to Green after a made IU basket.
Ultimately, however, Indiana’s porous defensive effort was to blame for the loss. The Hoosiers had opportunities to win, but couldn’t get the stops necessary to do so.
All stats are conference-only and are updated through Sunday’s games.
Iowa is the Big Ten’s best offensive team and the second-worst defense. In conference play, Iowa’s opponents are shooting 39.8 percent on 3s and 54.5 percent on 2s. Both are the worst in the league.
The Hawkeyes will apply pressure after scores and are third in the league in opponent turnover percentage (18.3).
Iowa doesn’t have a great matchup for Trayce Jackson-Davis, who went for 30 points and nine rebounds in Iowa City, but the same can be said for Indiana’s defense against Kris Murray. The junior wing went for 30 points in Iowa City and Filip Rebraca also played one of his better games of the season, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO
The KenPom projection is Indiana by six, with a 71 percent chance of a Hoosier victory. The Sagarin ratings like Indiana by five points.
Dating back to last season, Iowa has won three straight against Indiana. In January 2022, Indiana led by 11 points in Iowa City before falling 83-74. In last season’s Big Ten tournament semifinals, Indiana fell to Iowa 80-77 on a banked-in 3 by Jordan Bohannon with .8 seconds left. Iowa is the only Big Ten program Mike Woodson hasn’t beaten in his two seasons in Bloomington.
The keys for Indiana are figuring out a way to make things tougher on Murray, handling Iowa’s pressure, and limiting turnovers. Iowa has struggled on the road in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are 2-7 in league road games with an average margin of defeat of 12 points. With NCAA tournament seeding still to play for as March nears, Indiana can’t afford a letdown after an emotional win against Purdue.
(Photo credit: Iowa Athletics)
Filed to: Iowa Hawkeyes