I posted this earlier on facebook but I figured I would be well served to throw this out here and see what other people thought. Feel free to tell me I am wrong (I often am) or if you see a scenario that you think is better. The premise behind these rooting interests is that winning two Big Ten Tournament games would make Iowa at least a fringe NCAA tournament team (with three locking them in). If a game isn't listed it is because it doesn't impact Iowa. So with all that said here is what I think Iowa fans need to root for during the last few days of Big Ten conference play:
1) Iowa beat Nebraska (duh)
2) Michigan State beat Northwestern
3) Illinois beat Ohio State
4) Indiana beat Michigan
5) Purdue beat Minnesota
6) Wisconsin beat Penn State
That gives the Hawkeyes the sixth seed with a first round match against Northwestern and a second round match against Wisconsin (Michigan State likely in the third).
The Wisconsin-Michigan State game tonight is interesting because it will determine how important that Ohio State-Illinois game is. If Wisconsin wins and Ohio State beats Illinois we would probably play the Buckeyes in the third round (which, at that point isn't that big a deal). If MSU wins then we absolutely need the Illini to pull it off in Columbus or else we play Sparty in round two and the Buckeyes in round three.
Right now the two most important non-Iowa games are Indiana-Michigan and Minnesota-Purdue. Indiana and Purdue winning is essential. Purdue beating Minnesota (coupled with an Iowa win) means the Hawkeyes get the six seed and Northwestern in the first round (I believe the Wildcats are the easiest first round draw this year). If not, Iowa is the seven seed facing Nebraska (assuming a win on Saturday) which, given how the Hawks have done against both teams this year, is a tougher first round draw.
If Indiana losses then chaos will ensue. Iowa will have no chance at playing Wisconsin in the second or third round (the best match up for them) and could potentially see any of the four (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana) in the second round. There are several scenarios but, bottom line, the best course is if Indiana wins the conference title outright.