The 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket has been released, and while we all expected Iowa to slip a bit after the late season slide, I don’t think anyone could’ve been prepared for how low of a seed they received. Iowa is the #10 seed in the South Region, and will take on the #7 seed Cincinnati Bearcats (28-6, 14-4 in AAC) in front of what will surely be a pro-Cincinnati crowd in Columbus, OH.
Most NCAA Tournament experts had Iowa on the 8/9 line heading into the Big Ten Tournament, and after beating Illinois and losing to Michigan, it seemed as though the Hawks probably kept themselves on that line heading into the NCAA Tournament. Of course, the experts aren’t the ones who decide who makes the tournament, and those people probably took a harder look at Iowa’s performance in February and March before giving them a #10 seed.
This marks the first time that the Hawkeyes have made the NCAA Tournament since the 2015-16 season, when they were a #7 seed. That year, they beat #10 Temple in a first round overtime thriller before being bounced by eventual NCAA Champion Villanova in the Round of 32. This is the fourth trip to the dance for Iowa under Fran McCaffery, and thus far, they have two victories, but have never made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
Taking a look at their region, and yikes. If Iowa wants to make some noise in the tourney, they’ll have an incredibly difficult road ahead of them. Should they beat Cincinnati, they’ll face the winner of Tennessee/Colgate, and then could draw Purdue, St. Mary’s, Villanova, or Old Dominion should they make it to the Sweet Sixteen. St. Mary’s is in thanks to a big upset of Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Tournament, Villanova won the Big East regular season and tournament, and Purdue won the Big Ten this regular season. The bottom half of the bracket in the South Region is stacked, and while Iowa certainly has the potential to do some damage if they play up to their potential, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an early exit for the Hawks.
What are your thoughts on Iowa’s draw? Do you think they should’ve been seeded higher?