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Iowa Basketball: Hawkeyes Continue Ascent in Coaches, AP Polls

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With another test looming tonight, the Hawkeyes continue to climb the national polls.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Iowa
This team continues to rise on the back of Luka Garza.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes played only one game last week, but it was a big one. Iowa took down then #24 Rutgers 85-80 on Wednesday to improve to 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten on the year.

While it was only one game, it was another win over a ranked opponent. This came as a number of other ranked teams fell last week. Now Iowa continues their ascent up the national polls.

In the AP, Iowa moves up 1 spot from 19th to 18.

1. Baylor

2. Gonzaga

3. Kansas

4. San Diego State

5. Florida State

6. Louisville

7. Dayton

8. Villanova

9. Duke

10. Seton Hall

11. Oregon

12. West Virginia

13. Kentucky

14. Michigan State

15. Maryland

16. Butler

17. Auburn

18. Iowa

19. Illinois

20. Colorado

21. Houston

22. LSU

23. Wichita State

24. Penn State

25. Rutgers

In the Coaches Poll, Iowa was likewise ranked 19th a week ago. And as in the AP, Iowa benefited from a number of losses from higher ranked teams. Just as with the AP those losses and the big home win over Rutgers moved Iowa up a spot to #18 this week.

Here’s a look at the full Coaches Poll.

1. Baylor

2. Gonzaga

3. Kansas

4. San Diego State

5. Louisville

6. Florida State

7. Dayton

8. Duke

9. Seton Hall

10. Villanova

11. West Virginia

12. Oregon

13. Kentucky

14. Michigan State

15. Maryland

16. Auburn

17. Butler

18. Iowa

19. Illinois

20. Houston

21. Colorado

22. Wichita State

23. Penn State

24. LSU

25. Rutgers

With the return of Penn State to the national polls and Rutgers staying in despite their road loss to the Hawkeyes, the Big Ten once again has six ranked teams. As we’ve seen all season, this conference is incredibly deep, but remains light at the top.

Michigan State has long been the front-runner to win the league and remains the highest ranked team in the conference, but they only come in at #14 in both polls and are tied with #19 Illinois for the Big Ten lead. Further, there are now 8 teams within 3 games of the Spartans and Illini in the conference standings. That includes the Hawkeyes who enter tonight’s contest with Wisconsin only 1.5 games back.

Following tonight’s home game against the unranked Badgers, Iowa will resume their stretch of games against ranked foes. They’ll travel to #15 Maryland on Friday before hosting #19 Illinois on Sunday. That will close out a stretch with 4 of the last five 5 opponents ranked and 6 of the last 9 since the turn of the calendar.