March 3, 2007
The University of Iowa has earned the fourth seed in the Big Ten Conference post-season men’s basketball tournament and will meet Purdue Friday, March 9 in the quarter-finals. Iowa will meet the Boilermakers at 1:30 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago in a game to be televised on ESPN.
The Hawkeyes closed the regular season with a 60-53 win over Illinois Saturday in Iowa City, clinching a school-record seventh consecutive winning season under Coach Steve Alford. Iowa senior Adam Haluska scored 21 points in the win over the Fighting Illini, becoming Iowa’s first Big Ten scoring champion since Andre Woolridge in 1997.
The Hawkeyes (17-13) tied Purdue (20-10) and Illinois (21-10) for fourth place during the regular season and earned the fourth seed by virtue of their 2-1 record against those teams during the regular season. Iowa defeated Purdue 78-59 Feb. 21 in Iowa City in the only meeting between the two teams.
Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana earned the top three seeds, respectively, and join Iowa and Purdue in action on Friday. Thursday’s schedule has Minnesota vs. Michigan at 11 a.m., Northwestern vs. Michigan State at 1:30 p.m. and Penn State vs. Illinois at 4:05 p.m.
The winner of the Iowa vs. Purdue contest will play at 12:40 p.m. Saturday in the first of two semi-final games to be televised on CBS.
Iowa is the fourth seed in the tournament for the second time. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan 79-70 in 2004 as the fourth seed. Iowa and Purdue are meeting in the tournament for the third time. Iowa defeated Purdue 87-72 in the first round of the 2002 event in Indianapolis and scored a 71-52 win over the Boilermakers in the first round of the 2005 tournament in Chicago.
Iowa is the defending Big Ten Tournament champion. As the second seed a year ago the Hawkeyes defeated Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State to earn their second tournament championship.