INDIANAPOLIS -- Northwestern's Michael Thompson scored 11 of his 16 points during a late run Thursday, leading the Wildcats past Indiana 73-58 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Seventh-seeded Northwestern (20-12) clinched its first 20-win season in school history and has a date with Purdue (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) in Friday's quarterfinals. The Boilermakers are the second seed after sharing the regular-season title with Ohio State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) and No. 11 Michigan State.
It was the Wildcats' first conference tourney win since March 10, 2005.
Verdell Jones scored 20 points to lead Indiana (10-21), which lost 12 of its last 13 games. The Hoosiers also have five straight losses in Big Ten tourney play.
Indiana led for the first 32 minutes, but Thompson's flurry ignited a 20-5 run that turned a 45-39 Northwestern deficit into a 59-50 lead with 4:53 left and the Hoosiers never recovered.