Indiana Hoosiers vs. Penn St. Nittany Lions Pick & Prediction MARCH 14th 2024

No. 6 seed Indiana will go for its fifth win in a row when it tips off against No. 11 seed Penn State on Thursday night in the second round of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Minneapolis.

The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to face No. 3 seed Nebraska on Friday night.

Indiana (18-13) wrapped up its regular season with victories over Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota and Michigan State. The Hoosiers know they have to make a run in the Big Ten tourney to bolster their chances for reaching the NCAA Tournament.

Indiana coach Mike Woodson said he wants his players to focus solely on their next game, not how many conference tournament wins they might need to make the NCAA field.

“We’re playing as good as any team in the country right now, based on how we’ve played these last four games,” Woodson said after his team’s most recent win, vs. Michigan State. “But we’ve got to take it a game at a time, man. I’ll never jump ahead.”

Penn State (16-16) also is focused on extending its season one day at a time. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 66-57 win over No. 14 seed Michigan on Wednesday in the opening round.

Zach Hicks scored a season-high 20 points and made a season-high six 3-pointers in the victory for Penn State. Ace Baldwin Jr. added 17 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Nittany Lions coach Mike Rhoades celebrated the win with his players after the game.

“Kill or be killed,” Rhoades told his team. “It’s that time of the year. Super job.”

The teams met twice during the regular season, and Penn State won both contests.

The Nittany Lions pulled away for an 85-71 win on Indiana’s home court Feb. 3. Baldwin scored 22 points and Zach Hicks added 19 for Penn State.

On Feb. 24, Penn State prevailed again, this time on its home court. The Nittany Lions held on for an 83-74 win thanks in large part to Baldwin, who scored 23 points, and Qudus Wahab, who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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