Indiana Hoosiers Men’s Basketball Prepare to Face Penn State in Big Ten Tournament Opener

Staff report written from Game Notes

Minneapolis — March 14, 2024

Indiana University’s men’s basketball team is gearing up to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in the opening round of the 2024 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, March 14. The game is tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m. CT at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Hoosiers, led by head coach Mike Woodson, have had a solid showing in recent postseason tournaments, reaching the semifinals in each of Woodson’s first two trips to the Big Ten Tournament. Woodson boasts a record of 3-2 in the tournament.

Indiana holds a historical advantage over Penn State, leading the series 42-17. However, the Nittany Lions have shown strength in recent matchups, including a sweep of the season series in the current year. Penn State claimed victory over Indiana with an 83-74 result on February 24 in University Park.

In their previous meeting, Penn State guard Ace Baldwin Jr. played a pivotal role, averaging 22.5 points, 8.5 assists, and 3.0 steals across two games, against the Hoosiers.

Meanwhile, the sophomore tandem of Malik Reneau and Kel’el Ware made significant contributions, averaging 42.0 points and 15.0 rebounds combined, for Indiana.

The Hoosiers closed out their regular season with a 65-64 victory over Michigan State, marking their fourth consecutive win. Sophomore center Kel’el Ware led the charge with 28 points and 11 rebounds, securing his second consecutive 25-point, 10-rebound game.

Ware’s performance has been a highlight for Indiana this season, with the sophomore making significant improvements across multiple statistical categories compared to his rookie year. He leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks per game.

Freshman forward Mackenzie Mgbako has also been a key contributor, earning recognition as the Co-Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten. Mgbako leads the team in three-pointers made and has been a consistent scorer for the Hoosiers.

Senior guard Trey Galloway has been instrumental in Indiana’s success, averaging double digits in points while showcasing his playmaking abilities. Galloway recently announced his decision to return to the program for another season.

The return of sixth-year senior guard Xavier Johnson adds depth to the Hoosiers’ lineup. Johnson, who missed several games due to injury, made a significant impact in his recent return, helping Indiana secure victories.

As the Hoosiers prepare to face Penn State in the tournament opener, they aim to build on their recent successes and make a strong postseason run.

The game will be broadcast on BTN, with Kevin Kugler, Robbie Hummel, and Andy Katz providing commentary. Fans can also tune in to the IU Radio Network for live radio coverage with Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, and John Herrick.

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