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AP Top 25
How do you stay in the top 25 despite going 1-2, with both losses coming against unranked opponents? Well, it helps if you play in the toughest conference in the country... but it really helps if pretty much everyone else loses, too. And that's just what happened, particularly among the ever-fluctuating teams in the bottom 10-15 spots of the poll. Michigan State lost and Saint Louis lost and Ohio State lost and Texas lost and Kentucky lost and... well, you get the picture, right? Enough teams lost that they provided a cushion for Iowa's own fall down the rankings.
|1||Florida Gators (46)||27-2||1606||1|
|2||Wichita St. Shockers||31-0||1555||2|
|3||Arizona Wildcats (5)||27-2||1514||3|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||23-6||1364||6|
|10||San Diego St. Aztecs||25-3||995||13|
|14||North Carolina Tar Heels||22-7||755||19|
|16||Iowa St. Cyclones||22-6||613||15|
|17||Saint Louis Billikens||25-4||539||10|
|21||New Mexico Lobos||23-5||338||25|
|22||Michigan St. Spartans||22-7||322||18|
Others receiving votes: Texas 70, Virginia Commonwealth 58, UCLA 45, Stephen F. Austin 38, Gonzaga 38, Kansas State 19, Saint Joseph's 19, Ohio State 17, Green Bay 13, Harvard 7, Massachusetts 5, Arizona State 5, Pittsburgh 2, Colorado 2, Xavier 2, North Carolina Central 1, Southern Miss 1, Oklahoma State 1
Dropped from rankings: Ohio State 22, Texas 24
Iowa's hanging on to the final spot in the Coaches Poll top 25, but there's a fairly healthy gap between them and Texas at #26 (86 points to 50 points), so they probably weren't that close to dropping out of the rankings. Anyway, the Coaches Poll is much the same as the AP Poll -- tons of teams lost, which cushioned the blow for several teams (including Iowa). A loss to Michigan State this week probably would kick Iowa out of the rankings, though.
|1||Florida Gators (25)||27-2||793||1|
|2||Wichita State Shockers (7)||31-0||769||2|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||23-6||672||7|
|10||San Diego State Aztecs||25-3||511||13|
|14||North Carolina Tar Heels||22-7||352||21|
|16||Saint Louis Billikens||25-4||293||8|
|17||Iowa St. Cyclones||22-6||277||17|
|18||Southern Methodist Univ. Mustangs||23-6||185||24|
|21||New Mexico Lobos||23-5||146||NR|
|22||Michigan State Spartans||22-7||143||18|
ESPN's Joe Lunardi drops Iowa down to a No. 6 seed, although they're seemingly the best No. 6 in his mock bracket as Iowa again draws a play-in game winner (this time between Minnesota and Tennessee). An intra-state rematch of epic proportions could be on tap in the Round of 32: Iowa State is the No. 3 seed there. The Big Ten still has six teams in Lunardi's field, with Minnesota as one of the Last Four In and Nebraska as one of the First Four Out. (Indiana isn't listed among either his First Four Out or Next Four Out, so they still have considerable work to do even after their wins over Iowa and Ohio State to end the week.)
CBS' Jerry Palm moves Iowa into a 7/10 matchup with Saint Joseph's, with Kansas looming as the No. 2 seed in the Round of 32 game. At last -- the Battle 4 Atlantis final we expected to see! Palm has just five B1G teams in his field, although both Nebraska and Indiana are among his First Four Out teams.
USA Today drops Iowa even lower -- as a No. 8 seed versus No. 9 seed Stanford, with the winner drawing No. 1 seed Florida (unless either Alabama State or High Point can make hist--HAHA NEVER MIND). That's not a very friendly draw at all. They have six B1G teams making the field, with Minnesota being one of their Last 5 In (and drawing Dayton in a play-in game... to be played in Dayton, OH, of course) and Nebraska being one of their First 5 Out.
NBC Sports is another site slotting Iowa as a No. 8 seed, this time against No. 9 George Washington, with Kansas waiting as the No. 1 seed in the following round. They have five B1G teams in the field and Nebraska and Minnesota both among the First Five teams out.
Finally, SBN's own bracketologist, Chris Dobbertean, also has Iowa pegged as a No. 8 seed, facing No. 9 Arizona State in the first round. Wichita State awaits as the No. 1 seed in the following round. On the bright side? He has that pod of teams in St. Louis, so it would be an easy trip for Iowa fans... He has the Big Ten placing six teams in the field (with Minnesota facing Providence in the play-in game), with Nebraska being one of his Next Four Out teams and Indiana and Illinois being "In The Hunt."
Outside of Joey Brackets, Iowa's love among the bracketologists took a big hit this week; they went from being a 5 seed in most brackets last week to being a 7 or 8 seed in most brackets this week. (The Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix, which aggregates dozens of bracket predictions, has Iowa as a pretty solid No. 7 seed right now.) That will happen when you lose to a pair of unranked teams in one week, I imagine. It would be nice if Iowa could climb back to that No. 6 seed range; avoiding the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds during the first weekend would be desirable, I think. A climb like that likely requires Iowa to win a game or two in the Big Ten Tournament (and avoid losing their home finale against Illinois) -- and might require them to also knock off Michigan State in East Lansing this week.