Big Ten Tournament win = Automatic Junior Senior. It's been six damn years.
It's not often we move our feet after a basketball game where Iowa goes without a made field goal for the last 9:20 of the game, but it's also not often that Iowa faces a team with a terminal case of the quitskies.
Matt Gatens, of course, was the leader in this one with 20 points, stellar all-around defense, and two huge free throws to push Iowa's final margin of victory to 3 points when Illinois threatened to come back late. Aaron White continued to play like a seasoned veteran with 13 points and 9 rebounds (though his late-game free throw shooting left plenty to be desired), and Josh Oglesby even collected 3 offensive rebounds. Yes, really. How that didn't just result in an automatic forfeit for Illinois escapes me.
Iowa bottled up Brandon Paul for the entire game, harassing the Illini's leading scorer into 4 points on 2-11 shooting and 7 turnovers, and terrifying man-giant Meyers Leonard pretty much disappeared down the stretch when Illinois faded.
So now Iowa is in the second round of the tournament for the first time since [COACH REDACTED] was in town -- seriously -- and Michigan State looms large in the next game, Friday at 11 a.m. CT. Say, isn't Michigan State due for its annual inexplicable loss to Iowa? Just sayin'.
This is our open thread of joyous victory, and all the standard rules apply -- no slurs, no boobs or cheesecake, no unauthorized streams of anything. Be excellent to each other. You know by now. And I hope you're already listening to Junior Senior and dancing, because Andrew Brommer sure as hell is.