Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 12, 2015

CHICAGO — No. 7-seed Indiana took down No. 10-seed Northwestern, 71-56, Thursday night at the United Center.

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The Hoosiers, who lost to Northwestern in the season's only meeting, dominated this one from start to finish en route to advancing to play No. 2-seed Maryland on Friday.

Get senior writer Tom Dienhart's rapid reaction to Indiana's win.

Star player: James Blackmon Jr. looked like a freshman All-American, tallying 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting (5-of-10 from 3-point range). He also had six rebounds and seven assists.

Top stat: 56, points allowed by Indiana. The Hoosiers came into the game last in the Big Ten in points allowed (71.8 ppg). NU stars Tre Demps (2-5 shooting) and Alex Olah (3-of-10) never got on track. A team with a reputation for playing soft defense needed an effort like this. It should serve IU well in its next matchup vs. No. 2 Maryland.

Top stat line: James Blackmon Jr. flirted with a triple-double, going for a game-high 25 points, six rebounds and a game-high seven assists.

Top dunk: At about the 15-minute mark of the second half, James Blackmon Jr. lofted a pass to Troy Williams following an offensive rebound. Williams promptly deposited the ball in the hoop on a thunderous slam.

It was over when: Pretty much when the ball went into the air. Aside from trailing 5-3 in the very early moments, Indiana led the entire game, and by double digits from the 12:39 mark in the first half to the final buzzer. This one was never really in doubt.

Notable: Indiana had lost eight of its last 12 vs. Northwestern entering Thursday night. Hanner Mosquera-Perea reaggravated his right knee in a scary collision with Alex Olah, and the Hoosiers will reevaluate the knee Friday. … Indiana and Maryland split two meetings this season, with each winning on their home court. The Hoosiers won, 89-70; the Terrapins won, 68-66. This will mark the programs' first postseason meeting since Maryland beat Indiana in the 2002 national championship game. … Yogi Ferrell hit three 3-pointers to extend his school-record streak with at least one to 63 games.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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