One year ago tomorrow, Iowa basketball closed out its season at Minnesota. That team had managed four wins in the conference, with a season sweep of Indiana and a surprisingly easy home win over Northwestern. Still, it was a long and disappointing campaign, and that team had long since thrown in the towel. Minnesota won by 25, continuing a stretch of hot play and setting up a Big Ten Tournament run that punched their ticket to the Big Dance. It was that Minnesota loss, coupled with blowout losses at Wisconsin and Northwestern the previous week and a lackluster performance against Michigan in the tournament, that left the team 10-22 and spelled the end of the Todd Lickliter era.
Today, Iowa again closes out its season against an NCAA-bound team. This incarnation of the Hawks has three wins in the conference, again with a season sweep of Indiana and surprising blowout of Michigan State. Iowa cannot match last season's futility -- the worst record possible would be 10-21 -- but everything else feels the same. Purdue is as hot as they've been all season, winners of seven in a row, and a large portion of this Iowa team looked physically and mentally finished in a blowout loss at Michigan State Wednesday night. Despite Fran McCaffery's best efforts, the season is likely finishing, and soon. This can't end well, and so it's just left for it to end.
We'll hope for the best with you this afternoon, as Iowa tips off against the Boilermakers (3:00, ESPN). Bud Light contest info and open thread after the jump. One more time with feeling...
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