With Penn State stunning Maryland on Sunday night, coming back from a 16 point deficit to win 66-61, it means Rutgers earns the no. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They’ll play no. 10 seed Indiana on Thursday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The winner will play no. 2 seed Illinois on Friday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Scarlet Knights produced a 3-0 record in the regular season against these two opponents.
RU tied for sixth place with Wisconsin but lost the tiebreaker due to losing the head to head matchup, a 60-54 defeat at the RAC in January.
While Rutgers is firmly in the NCAA Tournament field per every Bracketologist, winning at least one game at the Big Ten Tournament would help for seeding purposes.
The Scarlet Knights swept Indiana with a 74-70 road victory on January 24 and a 74-63 win at home on February 24. The Hoosiers have lost five games in a row and six of its last seven, falling out on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble with little hope except for a miracle run in the Big Ten Tournament held in its home state.
Rutgers beat Illinois 91-88 at the RAC on December 20 but the Illini have won eleven of its last twelve games. It will be a major challenge but also an opportunity for Rutgers to bolster its NCAA resume. Illinois is being projected as a no. 1 seed for the big dance, so a win would certainly improve seeding for the Scarlet Knights.
We will have plenty of coverage this week leading up to the Big Ten Tournament. Here is the complete bracket: