After the first two days of the tournament that saw chalk winning out — the only seeding “upset” was No. 13 Minnesota over No. 12 Northwestern Wednesday — the big boys of the Big Ten join the league tournament.

Will seedings continue to hold?

No. 8-seed Maryland might have locked up its NCAA Tournament berth Thursday with a convincing victory over fellow bubble team Michigan State, helping to erase the Terrapins’ lackluster finish to the regular season. But a win over top-seed Michigan in Game 1 today, an 11:30 a.m. tip in Lucas Oil Stadium, would certainly gain enough attention of the NCAA Selection Committee to put them in the Dance. The Terrapins, though, were beaten soundly in their two meetings with Michigan this season.

Purdue, the 4 seed, will play Ohio State afterward, with the Boilermakers a slight underdog, even though they beat the Buckeyes twice during the regular season. Of course, in the first game, Ohio State was without star forward E.J. Liddell; in the second game, OSU didn’t have point guard C.J. Walker. Ohio State ended its 4-game losing streak with a hard-fought win over Minnesota on Thursday, but Chris Holtmann knows a bigger challenge may lie ahead in Purdue, which has won 5 straight.

“They’re the only team to sweep us this year,” Holtmann said in his post-game Zoom interviews with media. “It was a couple of close games. Particularly the one at our place, when their freshman (Jaden Ivey) made a great play (to win). You know it’s going to be a physical game as it always is.”

No. 7 Rutgers held off Indiana to advance to a date with second-seeded Illinois, which it beat in the teams’ only meeting way back in December, a 91-88 triller in the RAC. The game tips at 6:30.

And at about 9 p.m., No. 3-seeded Iowa gets a date with 6 Wisconsin, which had to hold off a ridiculous Penn State charge late Thursday night. The Nittany Lions ended the game on a 17-2 run but saw their rally come up short in a 75-74 Badgers’ win. Wisconsin has played Iowa twice in the last three weeks, losing each.

“In this league and this time of year a win is a win,” senior guard Brad Davison said. “We’re going to move on and move forward. We’re excited for our opponent (Friday).

Coaching fates

The Gophers nearly extended their season another day, which would have kept Richard Pitino on the sideline for 24 more hours.

With the 79-75 loss, however, the eighth-year coach likely will see his tenure at Minnesota end soon. Pitino’s job has likely been on the chopping block since his injury-depleted team lost 10 of its last 12 games during a season in which it had been ranked as high as 17th in the AP Poll.

Pitino is likely to have a meeting with Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle soon.

“It’s not my decision,” Pitino said of what the future holds. “I’m not going to go in there with a list of things. That’s not the way it works. We all have bosses. That’s OK. I do have a great relationship with Mark. If he gives me some bad news, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to flip a desk or anything. Life goes on.

“You’ve got to respect authority, respect tough decisions. I don’t worry about life being fair or not, I really don’t. I just try to pour my heart and soul into it. I try to be a good guy. I try to be a good mentor and see where it all goes. We’ve all got a long life to live, and would I love to be back? Of course, I’d love to be back. Not my decision.”

Indiana’s Archie Miller might find himself in a similar situation. The Hoosiers’ coach hasn’t seen the kind of progress one might expect from a program in its fourth year, with IU finishing only 12-15.

“We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities, we weren’t good enough,” Miller said of the program’s future. “Now you have to take some inventory, and you’ve got to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to progress and get better, which I know we will.”

Jackson staying or going?

Trayce Jackson-Davis has a decision to make this offseason, whether to return to Indiana for his junior season or declare for the NBA Draft.

The 6-9 forward averaged 19.1 points and 9 rebounds per game, was a third-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten. But he’s not yet made a choice on his future.

“Right now, I won’t worry about that,” he said right after Thursday’s game. “I’ll probably take two weeks off and try to get my mind right, just be able to make the best decision for me right now, (make sure) I have all the feedback that I need.”

Fans are heard

During the Indiana-Rutgers game on Thursday evening, viewers on TV could hear actual cheering fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

It was a pleasant experience, given a year of canned fake crowd noise to fill the void of largely empty stadiums. But Thursday, about 8,000 fans were inside Lucas Oil for the game, and they made their opinions heard, good and bad.

Hearing booing, which many IU fans were doing at the end of the Hoosiers’ loss, was an almost jarring experience, considering we’ve not heard it much in the last year. But Jackson-Davis heard mostly the cheers, and he was happy for it.

“Honestly, it really felt good just to be able to play in front of people again,” he said. “Being in Indianapolis and playing in front of your own fans, it gives you that extra spark, that extra energy. I felt like I was more amped up than usual, ready to go. But I’m sad that we disappointed them. It’s just something we have to live with.”