Luka Garza and four guys from the North Liberty YMCA The Iowa men’s basketball team earned its first AP poll rankings of the year, just in time for the holidays.
POLL ALERT: Gonzaga becomes 6th team this season to reach No. 1 in AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll.— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) December 23, 2019
See the full poll: https://t.co/xXlGQKLkGZ
More AP college basketball coverage: https://t.co/N0HLv6oHbR pic.twitter.com/3DRAWKI829
The ranking comes on the heels of a weird win over a Cincinnati team that’s been hot and cold all year long. Iowa also took down a decent (?) Iowa State team the week prior in convincing fashion, giving the Hawkeyes nine wins before the calendar turns and providing enough eye candy to persuade voters to stuff some respect into the Hawkeyes stocking.
The ranking is especially impressive when you consider what Fran McCaffery is working with, roster-wise. Jordan Bohannon just shut it down for the year. Jack Nunge tore his ACL a month ago. Pat McCaffery is struggling with some health problems and I’m not sure Cordell Pemsl will ever be healthy again. Iowa’s winning with about 7-8 scholarship players available each night and it’s been hella fun to watch.
After a bout against Kennesaw State on Sunday, Iowa’s schedule gets meaty when it plays No. 20 (I know, weird) Penn State at the Palestra in Philly on Jan. 4. Then it has No. 13 Maryland and a rematch with No. 11 Michigan in the following two weeks. Games against Nebraska and Northwestern sandwich the tough ones, but it’s always tough to win in Ryan Fieldhouse so let’s give the Wildcats some respect.
Merry Festivus Hawkeye Fans. Let’s Be Mad Again.