Iowa basketball suffered two painful losses -- so much for that bye week being just what they needed to recharge and refocus for the stretch run! -- but while their Big Ten championship aspirations may have caved in, the sky hasn't totally fallen on their standing with the pollsters. Iowa dropped from #8 in both polls to #15 in the Coaches Poll and #16 in the AP Poll.
One thing preventing Iowa from freefalling too far in the polls this week? E'ERYBODY LOSIN' GAMES.
This season in NCAA Men's Basketball, top 10 teams have lost 73 times this year, the most in a single regular season in the AP Poll era— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 29, 2016
Figuring out which teams are really good and which teams are just pretty good has been exceptionally difficult this season. Iowa seemed really good a month ago. Now? Not so much. But there aren't a lot of other teams stepping up to fill that void, either. And those two wins over Michigan State look better and better, even if the Iowa team now is scarcely recognizable to the one that won those games (the name on the jerseys is the same, which is no doubt enough for many pollsters).
Iowa's run of consecutive weeks in the AP Top 10 ends at six, which ties their longest such streak of the past 25 years (in 1993). When will Iowa next grace the Top 10? Maybe next week if they can get a pair of wins this week and a few teams ahead of them drop games -- although that of course relies on Iowa regaining the form they had several weeks ago. There's been little on display of late to suggest they could beat both Indiana and Michigan this week.
The Big Ten has four other teams ranked in the Top 25 polls, led by Michigan State at #2 (AP Poll) and #3 (Coaches Poll), followed by Indiana at #12 (AP)/#11 (Coaches), Maryland at #14 (AP)/#12 (Coaches), and Purdue at #15 (AP)/#13 (Coaches). Red-hot Wisconsin is the top team in the Others Receiving Votes category in both polls.