FanPost

How I Think Iowa Will Finish And Find Themselves In The Dance

Recently I did a fanpost on RockMNation (http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/2/17/5420538/what-seed-expectation-is-realistic) comparing Mizzou to Oklahoma and Lousville. 2 schools ranked way ahead of the Tigers (and currently pegged as 6 seeds) that were surprisingly familiar on paper to Missouri.

Just a week later in my go to resource (http://espn.go.com/ncb/bracketology) Iowa is sitting in a 6 seed spot so I did a little research to compare Iowa to Missouri and my new knowledge of the Sooners are Cardinals. Currently Iowa owns a better record than Mizzou by only 1 less tick in the loss column, however when you look at the numbers this Hawkeye team is superior,led by their dynamite rebounding and scoring.

Anyway, where will Iowa sit when the NCAA Tournament tips off? Right now Lunardi (bracketology link above) says they are a 6 seed and I agree. Iowa will be able to sort of "coast" to a 6 where there are now or maybe even a 5...

The rest of this season has Iowa playing only 1 team that is higher than them in polls and RPI (Michigan State). Beyond that game, which is winnable, albeit on the road, Iowa should not lose again this season. Playing in Minnesota could be tricky tonight but prior results show Iowa can handle them thanks to 5 players getting to double digit scoring in their 94-73 win.

Not much else needs to be said about the other opponents on the schedule (Indiana twice, Purdue, and Illinois) so speaking from the rankings, Iowa should finish the season 6-1 heading into the conference tourney. Currently the conference standings are a little log jammed between Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio State for the #3 seed and right now Iowa is in the middle at 4, so let's keep them there. Neither Wisc or OSU have more than 1 loss between now and the rest of the season that can be easily foretasted so we will stick with this 3, 4, 5 seeding.

That would give Iowa a 1st round bye but put them in a second round game between the winner of the 5 vs 12 which would be a match-up with Ohio State by said rankings. Iowa split the season series with OSU and this is an Iowa blog so let's give them that win haha, sending them to a 3rd round match-up with current #1 seed Michigan (but this could very well be MSU). Since we are going with wins based on seed, this game will be Iowa's last before the tourney, ending the season on a 7-2 run and a final record of 26-9.

With a certain top 20 AP ranking, 26 wins, and a top 30 RPI (currently 34) I think it is safe to peg Iowa at a 5 or a 6 seed. Lunardi currently has them as a 6 with a red arrow (meaning they have fallen since last week), but I doubt a 7-2 finish will give them any more red. Unfortunately, because of the relatively weak finish (other than MSU) it doesn't really give Iowa many chanced to spring forward into a 3 or 4 seed unless they win out and go to the semi or finals of the B10 Tourney or teams ahead of them stumble, which always seems to happen to a few schools.

Short Version - Its a bummer Iowa cannot win out and get a conference titles (thanks Wisconsin) but they do look like they have very winnable games down the stretch to build momentum for the NCAA Tourney as a 5 or 6 seed. The real tragedy might be the fast they would be traveling to Buffalo to play their first game if Lunardi is right...zing.

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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