Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 12, 2015
CHICAGO — Iowa entered the Big Ten tourney winners of six consecutive games and as a popular sleeper pick to win the 18th annual event.
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No. 13 seed Penn State would have none of it, stunning the fifth-seeded Hawkeyes, 67-58, on Thursday at the United Center.
Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's rapid reaction to the upset below.
Star player: Gotta go with Penn State?s D.J. Newbill. He hit 7-of-14 shots (2-of-3 3-pointers) for a team-high 18 points. And he hit some big shots at key junctures of the second half to push the Nittany Lions from a 27-19 halftime deficit to a 67-58 win.
Top stat: 26.3, Iowa's shooting percentage. Penn State wasn't much better at 39.3 percent, but it erupted for 48 second-half points. This wasn't a pretty game, although it was exciting in the end.
Top stat line: Ross Travis, Penn State. The senior hit 6-of-9 from the field, scored 17 points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and committed zero turnovers.
Top dunk: With about 13 minutes to go in the first half, Aaron White roared in from the right flank for a two-handed flush to give the Hawkeyes a 9-6 edge. Newbill also had a sweet breakaway slam late in the game off a turnover to help ice the victory.
Top play: Ross Travis' highlight-reel reverse And-1, which pretty much sealed the win. This was a beautiful play, made even better by the fact it was against big-time shot-blocker Gabe Olaseni.
It was over when: With 7:46 left in the game, Iowa?s Fran McCaffery was teed-up with the Hawkeyes leading, 42-40. D.J. Newbill hit both free throws, another bucket and then a 3-pointer to help propel Penn State to a 52-43 lead with 5:42. Just like that, the script was flipped, and Penn State never looked back or relinquished the lead. The No. 13 Nittany Lions are on to the quarterfinals to play No. 4 Purdue.
Notable: Despite the loss, Iowa will still go to the NCAA tourney. This morning, Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com had Iowa as No. 6 seed. Hard to see the Hawkeyes dropping much in the seeds. ? Aaron White tallied 21 points, his fifth game in a row with over 20. ? Penn State rallied to the Big Ten title game in 2011 as a No. 6 seed, losing to Ohio State. Could this be another magical run for the Lions? No. 4 Purdue is next.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, 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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