The day has finally come. It’s Monday morning, which is brutal enough, but we are now faced with a week with nothing in the world of Iowa revenue sports to look forward to. The Iowa Wrestling and Basketball seasons both came to an end this weekend, and neither went out the way you’d hope. That’s not to say it was all bad or that there weren’t some pretty spectacular moments and reason for excitement going forward, but overall the weekend was a bit of a downer.
On the wrestling front, the Hawkeyes had four in the semi-finals, but only managed one in the finals and finished the weekend in 4th place behind Penn State, Ohio State and Oklahoma State. Like I said, not what anyone hoped for.
Sammy Brooks provided some hope on his way to the semis.
And I think we all know Thomas Gilman is a badass.
But the real story was Cory Clark. Cory mother$&^#ing Clark. You can get the rundown here, but here’s what you need to know:
Cory Clark celebrates national title by throwing Coach Terry Brands— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) March 19, 2017
(Photo by Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP) pic.twitter.com/DNHB9qkLN5
I don't care. I'm sharing it again (This is wider). I've heard of wrestlers jumping in coaches' arms and vice versa. This is cray-cray, yo! pic.twitter.com/L4UWYQA0V5— K.J. Pilcher (@kjpilcher) March 19, 2017
He threw coach on the ground! pic.twitter.com/qGQx3UScsX— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 19, 2017
Dude is a complete badass. Finally came out a champion and did it with a shoulder popping out of place and ligaments in his wrist all sorts of messed up. Just gritty.
Cory Clark interview was fantastic. Said he'd cry for weeks after not winning national titles. "It's incredible to finally get this done."— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) March 19, 2017
So there’s your wrestling silver lining.
On to hoops.
The end didn’t look much like the beginning, but it certainly looked a lot like the rest of the year. Against the Yotes of South Dakota, the Hawkeyes didn’t look great out of the gates. The defense was suspect and the USD defense seemed to give Iowa some fits. In the end, it didn’t matter. Jordan Bohannon is the man and he, along with nearly 15,000 Iowa fans, willed the team to a first round NIT W. JoBo finished with 19 points and 11 assists with only 1 turnover. He was 7-12 from the floor and 3-4 from beyond the arc. Ridiculous.
After another late-notice time change, Iowa managed to sell out Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the second round/Sweet Sixteen game with the TCU Horned Frogs. And the Hawkeye faithful once again came through with the noise (maybe there’s something to cheap tickets for afternoon/early evening weekend games??). And so did Jordan Bohannon. The freshman outdid himself with 25 points on 8-15 shooting and 7-12 shooting from 3 (!!!) to go with 13 assists and only 3 turnovers. I’m telling you, the kid is going to go down as a lot of people’s favorite Hawkeye of all time.
The problem wasn’t putting the biscuit in the basket, it was stopping TCU from doing so. I said last week when our friends from Frogs O’ War predicted a Horned Frogs win with a score in the 60s that such a score would be virtually impossible. The Hawkeyes proved me right, but not in a good way. Everything Iowa could do offensively, TCU matched. But Iowa turned the ball over 17 times (led by 7 for Cook - but I contend that several of those were more the result of guards putting him in a bad position to begin with) and only turned TCU over 9 times. There were the obligatory wide open threes, the predictable drives to the hoop like a hot knife through butter and of course, the occasional complete lack of interest in getting back to stop a break.
And so the young Hawkeyes’ season came to an end yesterday.
It stinks. I thought this team would make a run to the NIT Championship. They played great defense down the stretch of the regular season and damn near made the big boys’ tourney because of it. But that faded in the BTT and the NIT. There is a ridiculous amount of talent on this roster with even more signed up to join next year. I’ve said over and over the future is bright and I think this group has the makings to make a serious run in the big dance. But it’s going to be limited by it’s ability to make stops when they have to and create some offense other than Bohannon drilling 25-footers. I think Cook and Pemsl can develop into serious forces on the block and Moss and Williams have both shown flashes of an ability to get into the lane with ease. Oh, and that Baer kid seems to have some potential.
Nicholas Baer is the only Big Ten player the last 25 years to amass 240+ points, 40+ blocks, 45+ steals, and 40+ 3-pointers in a season.— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 16, 2017
It’s going to be a fun ride the next couple years, so buckle up.
Speaking of the big dance, the NCAA Tournament was lacking in buzzer beaters or major upsets the first few days. That didn’t stop my office (and I’m sure every office/classroom in the country) from looking like this Thursday and Friday.
So far it’s been the Big Ten show. The conference of
champions leaders and legends went went 5-2 in the first round. Maryland went flat in the second half against a Xavier team that’s headed to the Sweet Sixteen. And an over-seeded Minnesota team got Gophered by an under-seeded Middle Tennessee team. Presumably due to too many of these.
Little Ricky, your thoughts?
Northwestern worked their way into the dance and then back-doored their way into their first win when some poor kid from the other smart school had a brain fart and fouled thinking his team was down by one, despite having just sunk a pair of free throws to take the lead. Regardless of the luck to get out of the first round, the weekend still ended like this:
This young fan does not agree with the call. pic.twitter.com/A50cJE2D9N— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 18, 2017
Cheer up Northwestern dude, at least you aren’t Nebraska.
Just been reminded by an Iowa fan that northwestern now has more NCAA tournament wins than Nebraska. Get your shots in whenever you can.— Pat Harty (@PatHarty) March 16, 2017
You guys may have heard, Michigan was involved in a plane crash prior to the Big Ten Tournament. People have been saying they’re a team of destiny now that they haven’t lost a game since. Maybe they made a deal with the devil? The Wolverines kept the Big Ten’s nice run going with a win over the second seeded Louisville Cardinals. They join the Wisconsin Badgers and Purdue Boiler Makers in the Sweet Sixteen. For those keeping score at home, that makes Iowa’s record against Sweet Sixteen teams 3-1. Ugh.
You guys may also have heard Michigan has a pretty solid post player from Germany. Mo Wagner (that’s Wagner with a V). He’s breaking the stereotypes. I don’t know what was so funny, but apparently Germans do have a sense of humor.
Speaking of senses of humor, John Beilein seems to have one.
How alpha is John Beilein? Dude packed a super soaker because he expected this. Bet he packs scissors for the next trip. pic.twitter.com/5hTLS4RRmb— Big Ten Geek (@bigtengeek) March 19, 2017
Soak it up fellas (see what I did there?).
Things are going so well for the Big Ten, people are starting to talk some smack on the Twitters. And by some people, I mean, like, literally anyone with any ties to the conference at all. Probably even some people who should just not open their mouths.
No Rutgers. Just, no.
Things aren’t going perfectly for everyone in the conference. Following the first round departure from the NIT, Indiana announced last week that Tom Crean is out as head hoops coach. That’s disappointing on so many levels.
Like this one..
and that's a wrap for Indiana and Tom Crean pic.twitter.com/t00oJqaU7l— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) March 15, 2017
And this one.
We're gonna miss you, Tom Crean pic.twitter.com/grm9QLuMV4— BlackHeartGoldPants (@BHGP) March 16, 2017
And this one.
Even worse news than the loss of Crean from the conference is who Indiana seems to be pushing for as his replacement. AD Fred Glass had this to say regarding the search:
“I don’t really have a litmus test at all. To me, IU ties is a double check plus. Being a former IU person is a double check plus. Being from the state of Indiana is double check plus. Collegiate coaching experience is certainty a plus, but there’s other ways, evidence to show your ability to take on a job like this.
I’m not going to foreclose anybody because they don’t have Indiana ties, and I’m not going to foreclose somebody because they haven’t been a coach in college, but I’m going to acknowledge that I think that’s a plus
My guess is that the interest in this job will be such that I won’t interview everybody, but I’ll interview everybody that is connected to Indiana University. Any Alumnus of Indiana University that wants to apply to this job, I will personally talk to them.”
For the love of all that is holy (and I’m not including the self-proclaimed here), don’t do what I think you want to do here Fred. Just stop yourself now, before it’s too late. Much like Jay Williams, it looks bad enough you’ve gotten this far in even wanting him, but you can still save yourself from any further embarrassment.
And finally, because we’re about to enter the time of year where we have baseball and nothing else, let’s check in on the World Baseball Classic.
This guy in the middle's face pretty much covers it. pic.twitter.com/hlKG2cMIG0— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 19, 2017
Oh. That was a hell of a catch
The many faces of Adam Jones' heroism pic.twitter.com/J73vu3nYZE— Eric Kay (@ekaycbs) March 19, 2017
Great way to start the week. But alas, it’s still Monday and there’s always that one guy to remind you of it.
"We're all still one day closer to death." pic.twitter.com/Qhx4aKTEQK— pat muldowney (@patmuldowney) March 19, 2017
I guess I’ll be that guy. Hope your week goes better than this:
When you picked a lot of upsets in the first round pic.twitter.com/uo351e3oKP— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) March 18, 2017
Happy Monday. We can survive this. Only 166 days until football season. Go Hawks.