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Indiana Rolls to Win in Big 10 Series Stop at Purdue

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Indiana Rolls to Win in Big 10 Series Stop at Purdue

Indiana seems to have found the right formula. Andy Marsh photo.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The eight teams of the Big Ten plus Notre Dame made their way to Purdue for Leg Two of the 2022 Big Ten 7s Series. Indiana sat atop the standings after week one in Champaign.

The pool draw placed the Hoosiers with Wisconsin as well as hosts and local rivals, Purdue. Indiana cruised through to the championship semi-finals with two comfortable wins. The hosts beat Wisconsin and did just enough on point differential to beat out other 1-1 teams for the 4th Seed in the championship bracket.

The second pool featured Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State. The Nittany Lions were heavily favored and emerged 2-0. Point differential gave Penn State the top seed in the championship bracket and a semifinal match up with Purdue. Michigan knocked off the rival Spartans for a higher seed in the consolation bracket.

The final pool matched up Illinois, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. The Illini held Ohio State to a tied contest in the first game of the day but the favored Buckeyes managed to pull away to a two-try win in the second half. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came in the second match of Pool C. The hosts produced a condensed schedule and Illinois had just 20 minutes to turnaround and play a favored Notre Dame side. The Illini surged out to a 21-0 lead. Legs faded in the second half on short rest and Notre Dame gained a foothold. But Illinois managed to hold on for a 21-19 win. Ohio State took advantage of Notre Dame on short rest to punch their ticket to a semifinal with Indiana.

Penn State and Indiana dispatched Purdue and Ohio State respectively. Indiana controlled the final from start to finish and took the nine series points. Going into the final weekend of the series, Indiana has opened up a good lead on the pack with 18 points. They are trailed by Ohio State (11), Penn State (11), Michigan (6), Illinois (4), Michigan State (4), Purdue (4), and Wisconsin (4).

The final leg of the series is set for Saturday, 16 April at the University of Michigan. The Hoosiers can secure the Big Ten 7s Championship by finishing 6th or higher among Big Ten teams.

Sadly during the tournament Ohio State captain Josh Leidich, who has been a superb leader for the Buckeyes and took them to a Big 10 15s championship, suffered what appears to be a season-ending injury. It was a rough way for a pretty special play to end his time at Ohio State.