Sunday, March 11, 2001

Iowa, Indiana in Big Ten final

The Associated Press

        CHICAGO — No time now for the Iowa Hawkeyes to be tired. Three wins in three days and they're one victory away from capturing the Big Ten Tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAAs.

        Now all coach Steve Alford has to do is find a way to beat a very familiar foe in the final. That would be Indiana, the team he led to the 1987 national championship as a player.

        Reggie Evans scored a career-high 30 points and had a tournament-record 18 rebounds — matching the total for the entire Penn State team — as sixth-seeded Iowa routed the Nittany Lions 94-74 in Saturday's semifinals.

        Now, bring on Indiana. The fourth-seeded Hoosiers earned their way to Sunday's championship by knocking off top-seeded Illinois 58-56 Saturday.

        “Indiana's on a roll,” said Alford. “They're very tough, they're very confident. They've got as tough-minded a backcourt as we've ever played. They post an awful lot of problems.

        “Playing our fourth game in four days, that's a very difficult task.”

        Dean Oliver added 15 points for Iowa, which made 36 of 48 free throws.

        Iowa made six of its first seven shots and built a 20-4 lead. Penn State missed eight of its first nine field goal attempts.

        As far as Alford's concerned, the Hawkeyes already have earned an NCAA bid, regardless of today's outcome.

        “No doubt in my mind,” he said. “We've won 21 games in the toughest league in the country.”


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