Iowa will face No. 3 seed Purdue in Sunday’s Big Ten championship game
Boilermakers won both games against Iowa in regular season
By Pat Harty
INDIANAPOLIS – The Iowa men’s basketball team will get another shot at defeating Purdue, and this time a Big Ten Tournament championship will be on the line.
Iowa and Purdue both advanced to Sunday’s championship game with victories over Indiana and Michigan State, respectively, in Saturday’s semifinal round.
Purdue defeated Iowa twice in the regular season, but Iowa star forward Keegan Murray didn’t play in the first game, which Purdue won 77-70 in the conference opener on Dec. 3 in West Lafayette, Indiana, and he was in foul trouble in the second game in which Purdue prevailed 83-73 on Jan. 27 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“We’ve got to keep it in perspective for us,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in his post-game press conference on Saturday. “We beat Iowa twice, but Keegan Murray didn’t play in the first game and Keegan Murray got into foul trouble in the second game.”
Purdue won’t get to avoid Keegan Murray in Sunday’s championship game as he is healthy and playing perhaps better than anybody in the conference.
The Cedar Rapids native scored 32 points in Saturday’s 80-77 victory over Indiana in the semifinals.
Iowa also made 14 3-point baskets against Indiana, including the game-winner by sixth-year senior guard Jordan Bohannon, and has combined to make 40 treys in the three tournament games.
“They spready you out, they have quickness, they’ve got good size, they can play bigger, they can play smaller, they can score 112 points,” Painter said.
Painter was referring to Iowa’s 112-76 victory over Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.
Iowa made a tournament record 19 3-pointers against Northwestern.
“They’re dangerous,” Painter said.
Purdue is also dangerous and features some of the Big Ten’s top players, including explosive guard Jaden Ivey and 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey.
This will mark the first time that Iowa has played in the championship game since 2006.
Iowa vs. Purdue
When: 2:30 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis, Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network