Thanksgiving may be primarily about the three F's -- family, food, and football -- but for Iowa hoopyball there's another F this weekend -- Florida. 3-0 and off last week's hugely impressive thumping of Marquette in Milwaukee, Iowa is headed down to the Magic Kingdom for the Advocare Invitational, a non-conference basketball tournament in Orlando with a very solid field. We thought Marquette would provide a credible test for Iowa, but Iowa waltzed to a win over the Golden Eagles (though Marquette has since added a pair of nice wins over LSU and Arizona State) thanks to one of their most brilliant performances of the Fran Era. We may get a better sense of how good this Iowa team is after this weekend, though.
RPI data from RealTimeRPI.
There don't appear to be any truly great teams in this field -- although perhaps your Iowa Hawkeyes really are that damn good -- but there are a lot of solid teams. The worst team in the field is Monmouth -- and they already have a win over UCLA (lol UCLA) and gave USC a run before coming up short. Six of the eight teams in the tournament rank between 18 and 45 in the current KenPom rankings.
Iowa's half of the bracket includes Dayton, Notre Dame, and the aforementioned Monmouth. Iowa faces Dayton on Thursday evening -- tip-off isn't until approximately 8 PM CT, so hopefully you're recovered from your turkey-induced afternoon coma by then. If Iowa gets by the Flyers, a tasty clash with Notre Dame (3-0, although with no wins of real note) likely awaits on Friday evening.
There are no games on Saturday, but action wraps up on Sunday, where Iowa will take on someone from the other half of the bracket; exactly who remains to be determined. If Iowa finds themselves in the championship game, their opponent is likely to be Xavier or Wichita State. Xavier is 4-0 and recorded an impressive 16-point win over Michigan in Ann Arbor last weekend. Wichita State is 2-1, got stunned by Tulsa last week, and will be without star guard Fred VanVleet this weekend. Given his absence, Xavier is probably the favorites in that half of the bracket. USC is an intriguing wildcard -- they're 4-0, although most of those wins were against very overmatched opponents.
Regardless, there are some quality teams in this tournament and we should know much more about the 2015-16 Iowa basketball team by Sunday evening.
Here is the full bracket for the tournament:
A downloadable version of the bracket is available here.
And the schedule and TV times for the tournament. All times CT.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26
|GAME 1||Alabama vs Xavier||11 AM||ESPN2|
|GAME 2||Wichita State vs USC||1 PM||ESPN2|
|GAME 3||Notre Dame vs Monmouth||5:30 PM||ESPNU|
|GAME 4||Iowa vs Dayton||8 PM||ESPN2|
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27
|GAME 5||Alabama vs Wichita State||11 AM||ESPN3|
|GAME 6||Xavier vs USC||1:30 PM||ESPNU|
|GAME 7||Notre Dame vs Iowa||6 PM||ESPN3|
|GAME 8||Monmouth vs Dayton||8:30 PM||ESPN2|
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29
|GAME 9||7TH PLACE||Loser of Game 5 vs Loser of Game 7||9 AM||ESPN3|
|GAME 10||3RD PLACE||Loser of Game 6 vs Loser of Game 8||11:30 AM||ESPN2|
|GAME 11||CHAMPIONSHIP||Winner of Game 6 vs Winner of Game 8||3:30 PM||ESPN2|
|GAME 12||5TH PLACE||Winner of Game 5 vs Winner of Game 7||6 PM||ESPNU|
Yes, according to the bracket, the 5th Place Game will be played after the Championship game for this tournament. The magic of TV!
We'll try to update the schedule as results allow.