As March Madness quickly approaches, we’ll be taking a look at Iowa’s resume each week. We’ll explore their accomplishments to-date, but also look at how they’re projected to finish and what that might mean for their tournament seeding.
As always, if there are things you like or don’t, something you’d like to see added, etc. let us know in the comments.
The Iowa Hawkeyes dropped a game last week on the road at Purdue. That wasn’t unexpected. What was unexpected was just how badly they were beaten. That cost Iowa a number of spots in the KenPom, Sagarin and NET rankings coming into this week.
Iowa did bounce back for a blow out win in a revenge match with Nebraska on Saturday, as expected. That win over the Cornhuskers marked Iowa’s last matchup against a team outside the NCAA’s quadrant one.
The Hawkeyes kick off the home stretch with a big road trip this week as they travel to Indiana and Minnesota for a pair of quad one games. Here’s your weekly breakdown of Iowa’s NCAA Tournament chances.
W - Wisconsin (33, Q2)
L - @ Maryland (8, Q1)
W - Illinois (34, Q2)
L - @ Purdue (26, Q1)
W - Nebraska (176, Q4)
Quadrant One Record: 5-5
Wins: Maryland, Texas Tech (N), Cincinnati (N), @ Syracuse, @ Iowa State
Losses: San Diego State (N), @ Maryland, Penn State (N), @Purdue, @ Michigan
Quadrant Two Record: 5-1
Wins: Rutgers, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota
Quadrant Three Record: 1-1
Wins: Oral Roberts, @ Northwestern
Losses: @ Nebraska
Quadrant Four Record: 6-0
Wins: Oral Roberts, Nebraska, North Florida, Cal Poly, SIU Edwardsville, Kennessaw State
Thursday, February 13th: @Indiana (61, Q1)
Sunday, February 16th: @Minnesota (40, Q1)
Thursday, February 20th: Ohio State (21, Q1)
Tuesday, February 25th: @Michigan State (11, Q1)
Saturday, February 29th: Penn State (19, Q1)
Tuesday, March 3rd: Purdue (26, Q1)
Sunday, March 8th: @Illinois (34, Q1)
Quadrant 1 Games Remaining: @Purdue, @Indiana, @Minnesota, Ohio State, @Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, @Illinois
Quadrant 2 Games Remaining: None
Quadrant 3 Games Remaining: None
Quadrant 4 Games Remaining: None
KenPom Projected Record: 21-10, 12-8*
Wins: @Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue
Losses: @Minnesota**, @Michigan State, @Illinois
*Note: This is the calculated record based on projected results the rest of the way. KenPom’s stated projected record for Iowa is 21-10, 12-8.
** Denotes a change from last week.
Projected Quad 1 Record: 9-8
Projected Quad 2 Record: 5-1
Projected Quad 3 Record: 1-1
Projected Quad 4 Record: 6-0
You can click the above links to see the sources for these projections.
Teams to Win: Iowa State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, DePaul, Northwestern, Nebraska, Oral Roberts, North Florida
Iowa’s NET was dealt a few blows this week. The obvious big one was the loss at Purdue. While expected, the beatdown hurt. But the Hawkeyes also lost a Q1 win as Illinois fell to Q2. On the other end of the spectrum, Oral Roberts also managed to fall from Q3 to Q4, leaving the Hawkeyes with only two Q3 games for the year.
While the Hawkeyes benefit from Illinois losing in the Big Ten standings, they have another matchup with the Fighting Illini and are only a half game behind them in the standings. A few more wins for Illinois would help Iowa’s resume more than it hurts them in the standings, provided the Hawkeyes can keep winning.
In addition to Illinois, Rutgers, Michigan and Wisconsin are all sitting within 4 NET spots of being a Q1 win. A win here or there from any of those teams would help Iowa’s resume.
Teams to Lose: Penn State, Maryland, Michigan State, Butler, Auburn, Oregon, Colorado, Kentucky, Creighton
It may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but the Penn State Nittany Lions have moved into the shotgun seat for the Big Ten title. While Maryland is still in first place, PSU is only a game back and have the most favorable schedule of any of the contenders. They’ll close out the season beginning tonight with the following: @Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, @Indiana, Rutgers, @Iowa, Michigan State, @Northwestern. The Terrapins, meanwhile, finish up with the following: Nebraska, @Michigan State, Northwestern, @Ohio State, @Minnesota, Michigan State, @Rutgers, Michigan.
Iowa could use both Maryland and Penn State, as well as Michigan State for that matter (though they are technically behind Iowa in the standings, the one matchup is in East Lansing), to lose a few games down the stretch. Maryland and Michigan State seem destined to beat up on each other, but Penn State has four remaining home games, a pair of matchups with Northwestern and only two more games against the top-5 in the conference. The Hawkeyes need Penn State to drop a game or two they shouldn’t.
In terms of NCAA seeding, the Hawkeyes find themselves needing more help this week. After not climbing off the 5 line despite a number of top-25 wins, the fashion in which Iowa lost at Purdue cost them a seed line. Now firmly planted on the 6 line, Iowa could use teams just ahead of them like Creighton, Kentucky and Colorado to drop a few games. While Villanova, Butler and Oregon are two seeds higher, they’re not out of reach for Iowa.
Most importantly, the Hawkeyes need to defend the home court and find a way to steal a game or two on the road down the stretch.