INDIANAPOLIS -- What would anyone rather do at 9 p.m. on a weeknight in Indianapolis than pay to attend a Northwestern-Iowa basketball game?
I'm guessing "stay home" would be the first choice, followed by "anything else." Now, on with the Fun Facts:
1. Northwestern is 2-0 in the state of Indiana this season. It won 54-47 at Indiana and 74-65 at Purdue. Iowa is 0-1, having lost at Indiana.
2. Northwestern's JerShon Cobb averaged 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games against Iowa. He won't play tonight because of injury.
3. Iowa is 5-1 as a No. 6 seed in this tourney. That is topped only by its 3-0 mark as a No. 2 seed. Its other seeds and records: It's 3-2 as a No. 7 seed, 3-3 as a No. 9 seed, 1-2 as a No. 8 seed, and 0-2 as a No. 4, 5 and 10 seed.
4. Northwestern was 4-5 on the road in the Big Ten, 2-7 at home. It shot 33.3 percent from the field at home in league play.
5. In Iowa's two games against the Wildcats, the numbers kind of skewed Iowa's way:
Points: Iowa 169, Northwestern 117
Field goal shooting: Iowa 57-of-105, 54. 3 percent. Northwestern 43-of-112, 38.4 percent
3-point shooting: Iowa 13-26, 50 percent. Northwestern 9-of-44, 20.5 percent
Rebounds: Iowa 85, Northwestern 48
Assists: Iowa 39, Northwestern 16
Blocks: Iowa 13, Northwestern 5
6. Iowa has lost five of its last six games. Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin also had Big Ten stretches in which they lost five of six, and Michigan State dropped four of six. Minnesota lost four of five. And so concludes the Pollyanna portion of Fun Facts.
7. Northwestern has never advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten tourney, and has reached the quarterfinals just six times in 16 years. ...
8. ... Which makes it stand to figure that the Wildcats' have the league's worst winning percentage in the tourney at .273. With its win over Purdue Thursday afternoon, Ohio State is the best at .719 (23-9).
9. No. 11 seeds have a 14-game losing streak in the tourney. The last No. 11 to win a game was Illinois in 1999. It won three times before getting stopped in the title game.
10. Northwestern has been represented on a Big Ten all-tournament team more recently than Iowa. Wildcat guard Michael Thompson was a 2011 honoree for scoring 50 points in two games, including a single-game tourney-record 35. Iowa's last honorees were Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner in 2006 when the Hawkeyes last won the tourney.
11. If you missed Stephen Bardo's appearance on the Hlas Podcast, why deny yourself? Here's the link: http://thegazette.com/2014/03/12/hlas-podcast-stephen-bardo-of-big-ten-network/