Anyone that’s ever stepped foot on campus in Iowa City knows the weekend begins on Thursday. And damn, what a weekend it was, starting on Thursday!
Iowa Basketball is back, baby. On the bubble that is. It was unthinkable a little over a week ago. But everyone in college basketball has been talking about the Hawkeyes since Thursday.
As of yesterday, Iowa is listed among Joe Lunardi’s first four out. How did they get there? Well, unless you were living under a rock, I assume you recall the drubbing the Hawkeyes put on Maryland at Maryland last week. That was followed by a first half beat down, second half classic letdown and unbelievable last second soul-crushing defeat of the Wisconsin Badgers Thursday.
Never gets old.
And in the victory, a Hawkeye legend was born.
Oh, Jordan Bohannon was there too.
Chris Hassel’s dad, Don, is every Hawkeye fan on the planet. And it’s glorious.
And with that, Iowa was added to the bubble. Going into the weekend, they were certainly still on the fringe, but they got at least a little help on Saturday.
Weekend Bubble Watch
|Last 4 Byes||Syracuse||18-13||Georgia Tech||W|
|Last 4 Byes||Seton Hall||20-10||@ Butler||W|
|Last 4 Byes||Providence||20-11||@ St. John's||W|
|Last 4 Byes||Marquette||19-11||Creighton||W|
|Last 4 In||Xavier||19-12||@ DePaul||W|
|Last 4 In||Cal||19-11||@ Colorado||L|
|Last 4 In||USC||23-8||Washington||W|
|Last 4 In||Wake Forest||18-12||@ Virginia Tech||W|
|First 4 Out||Vanderbilt||17-14||Florida||W|
|First 4 Out||Georgia Tech||17-14||@ Syracuse||L|
|First 4 Out||Rhode Island||21-9||Davidson||W|
|First 4 Out||Kansas State||19-12||Texas Tech||W|
|Next 4 Out||Georgia||18-13||@ Arkansas||L|
|Next 4 Out||Illinois||18-13||Rutgers||L|
|Next 4 Out||Houston||21-9||ECU||W|
|Next 4 Out||Clemson||16-14||Boston College||W|
Cal seems to have played themselves out of the tournament. Meanwhile, Vandy, with another win over Florida, played themselves in. Illinois managed to jump up into the first four out while losing to Rutgers. And I think that tells you all you need to know about the various prognosticators and their respective bubble predictions.
So what did Iowa do over the weekend? Despite my inner Hawkeye gut telling me they would crap down their leg after playing themselves into the NCAA Tournament conversation, they came out and thrashed Penn State. I mean mauled them. And a lot of other intense verbs.
Iowa senior Dale Jones gets the start, appropriately pops the game's first three pic.twitter.com/tejgxC1g6i— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) March 5, 2017
There were roughly a million highlights to choose from, but we’ll go with this one.
And with that, Iowa’s regular season comes to a close. The Hawkeyes officially finish at 18-13 overall, 10-8 in the Big Ten. That is good enough for a tie for 5th place. Tiebreakers put the Hawkeyes at 7th for the Big Ten Tournament. And that means a date with Indiana on Thursday at 5:30pm CT on ESPN2. Winner gets to take on Wisconsin.
Here’s the full bracket.
Nebraska is down 30 with 11:26 to play. Here is your Big Ten Tournament bracket barring NCAA record comeback pic.twitter.com/ssh1mkNwBg— Jon Miller (@hawkeyenation) March 6, 2017
In other hoops news:
From @BigWeitz Peter Jok (71) and Jordan Bohannon (71) have become the 1st Iowa duo to sink 70 3-pointers in same season in school history.— Jon Miller (@hawkeyenation) March 3, 2017
Oh, and Peter Jok finished the regular season at 92.4% from the free throw line, blowing REDACTED’s single season Big Ten single season record out of the water (92.1%).
Since we will all be spending the next week talking through every possible scenario for the Hawkeyes hoops squad making the tournament, perhaps we should focus elsewhere? Yeah? OK.
So the wrestlers finished up their Big Ten Tournament this weekend. Not surprisingly, they came in third behind Ohio State and Penn State, but the Hawkeyes did walk away with a pair of individual conference championships with Gilman and Brooks and a pair of runner-ups from Clark and Kemerer. Given the trajectory for hoops, wrestling was the proverbial piss in the Hawkeye Cheerios for the weekend. Sorry.
Quickly looking for anything to cleanse the palate, football!
There were four former Hawkeyes participating in the NFL Scouting Combine over the weekend. The performances started Friday with George Kittle literally being the talk of the Combine. He broke a TE record in the broad jump at 11” (think about that - if you laid a basketball hoop on the ground, Kittle jumped his whole body past it from a stand still - it’s flat out nuts). Unfortunately, so did a pair of other freak athletes and he ended 3rd overal for TEs. But he also impressed with his 40 time coming in at 4.56 and 4.52. That’s faster than a lot of RBs and WRs in the NFL (Jarvis Landry, as an example, ran a 4.77) and fast enough for 3rd among TEs at the Combine.
Due to lingering issues, King and Beathard both were only limited participants in the Combine and did not run the 40. Jaleel Johnson did and finished with a 5.38 40. Not exactly setting the world on fire, but remember the dude is a massive human being. He racked up 19 reps on the bench as well. You can get full results for all participants here.
Back in Iowa City, the Iowa Football staff hosted more than 80 class of 2018 and 2019 recruits. The list is truly impressive and includes a number of top players from all over the midwest. Here’s the breakdown by state:
Missouri - 24
Illinois - 19
Iowa - 15
Wisconsin - 9
Indiana - 7
Minnesota - 6
Kansas - 2
Ohio - 1
Michigan - 1
By all accounts on the Twitters (if you’re into that sort of thing), the event was a success. As of this writing, there have been no commitments, but a number of new offers were handed out and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some commitments this week. It’s still early, but we are creeping into the time of year where things picked up last season. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is a debate for another day.
Yes, I too thought Iowa was lit yesterday.
On the whole, we’ll just leave it at this: it was a hell of a weekend for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Wrestling added a pair of conference champions, football sent four former players to the combine who are performing well and brought in more than 80 potential future Hawkeyes, and the hoops squad has all of Hawkeye Nation on the edge of their seat for the next week of basketball. It’s March. Let the Madness begin.
Happy Monday. Hope your week goes a little something like this: