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IOWA STAYS IN THE TOP TEN: #5 IN AP POLL, #7 IN COACHES POLL

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That loss to Maryland? Not a big deal, per the pollsters and the bracketologists.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa basketball finally tasted defeat for the first time in almost two months last week, falling 74-68 at Maryland behind Jarrod Uthoff's worst game of the season (and a cold night of long-range shooting from everyone on the team).  Iowa rebounded with an easy blowout win over Northwestern yesterday, though, and still sit at 17-4 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten. Their key Big Ten wins (Michigan State x2, Purdue x2, Michigan) combined for six wins of their own last week (most of which came against Big Ten dregs, but hey), which didn't hurt Iowa's profile any. Iowa remains ranked in the Top 10 in both polls, #7 in the Coaches Poll and #5 in the AP Poll.

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The #3, #4, and #5 teams in last week's Coaches Poll -- Kansas, Iowa, and Texas A&M -- all went 1-1 last week and summarily dropped to the #6, #7, and #8 spots in this week's poll.  Maryland rode their home win over Iowa all the way up to the #3 spot, behind #1 North Carolina and #2 Oklahoma.  #4 Villanova and #5 Xavier round out the top five in that poll.

In the AP Poll, Iowa fell from #3 to #5, while Maryland rose from #7 to #4 after their win over Iowa. Villanova was the the biggest beneficiary from the losses by Iowa, Kansas, and Texas A&M, jumping from #6 to #3 in the new rankings. #1 Oklahoma and #2 North Carolina remained unchanged from a week ago. In all, six former Iowa opponents are ranked in the current Top 25, three of whom Iowa beat (#10 Michigan State, #18 Purdue, #21 Wichita State) and three of whom beat Iowa (#4 Maryland, #13 Iowa State, and #24 Dayton).

This marks Iowa's third straight week of being ranked in the AP Top 10, their longest such streak since 1992-93, when they were ranked in the Top Ten for six weeks, beginning November 30 and ending January 11. (Technically, Iowa also appeared in the Top Ten in three straight weeks in 2001-02, but one of those weeks was the preseason poll, which isn't quite as impressive, frankly.)  Iowa faces Penn State (at home) and Illinois (on the road), so they'll certainly be favored to win both games and extend their stay in the Top Ten.

Iowa's loss to Maryland doesn't seem to have impacted their status with the bracketologists one bit, though. Joe Lunardi released his new bracket at ESPN this morning and had Iowa as a #1 seed in the Midwest -- actually up a spot from where they were a week ago (#2 in the Midwest). NBC's College Basketball Talk, one of the first outlets to get on the Iowa-as-a-#1-seed train, kept Iowa as a #1 seed this morning (out West), too. Iowa's standing has fallen a bit in the Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix (updated through yesterday morning), which presently has Iowa as the top #2 seed with an average seed of 1.64 across the 70 brackets tracked.