Photos by: Tony Vasquez, Joshua Herd, Reggie Edwards for Indy Sports Daily
Banker’s Life Fieldhouse
The Men’s B1G Tournament kicked off today amid lots of late-breaking news and speculation about event schedules and if they would even take place with the current Covid-19 pandemic. Even as our team was heading to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse here in Indianapolis, IN even we were unsure if things had changed in the 15-20 minute drive we had. Upon getting here and picking up our credentials, more news broke that the NCAA had decided to not allow fans to any of the NCAA Championship tournament games. Shortly after that, the B1G made a statement mirroring the same decision that the NCAA made regarding fans, but after today.
Since basketball was still going to be played, the tournament started off with #13 Northwestern taking on #12 Minnesota. Wasn’t much to this game as Minnesota handled Northwestern the entire time. Northwestern looked like they would make it a game at halftime being down by just 2 points. That quickly changed in the 2nd half as Minnesota took it to Northwestern and put an end to any doubt who would win. The Golden Gophers moved on to the next round with their 74-57 win. The Gophers will play tomorrow against #5 Iowa after the Michigan vs Rutgers game that starts at noon.
The second game of the night was who most fans who will get to watch this live came to see when #11 Indiana took on #14 Nebraska. This game was interesting heading into it with IU losing their last outing and knowing that earlier in the season IU struggled against Nebraska. On top of that, it was announced late last night that Nebraska added 2 football players to their roster to fill the 2 spots open from other players being suspended indefinitely.
That certainly didn’t stop the Cornhuskers from trying to win this game. They kept it close for the opening half, and even leading early on. They kept this game interesting through the 1st half trailing by 1 to 3 points. Neither team shot particularly well from beyond the arc, IU was just a bit more patient and made that extra pass to get a cleaner look when taking the shot. In the closing seconds of the half, Nebraska felt rushed and took long shots that were way off. This gave IU momentum going into the locker room and leading 43 to 43 at the half.
The 2nd half of the game was all IU. They came out pushing the ball down the court and making smart baskets, and on the defensive end, the Hoosiers let the Huskers bury themselves. Half way through the half, Nebraska kicked into another gear. The Huskers went on an 11-0 run against the Hoosiers and forcing Hoosier’s Archie Miller to call a time out and were able to cut the lead to 10. Despite the late surge from Nebraska, IU got back on their game and pushed the lead over 20 points. They will move on to play tomorrow night against #6 Penn St with their win over Nebraska 89 to 64.
Side note: The crowd really came alive when the 300lb freshman football player for Nebraska got in the game and had a few chances to get some baskets. It was fun to see that.