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.
This week, the Hawkeyes climb a spot in both the national polls, but are relatively unchanged in both the advanced analytics and the NET rankings. That follows a pair of home wins over quadrant 2 Wisconsin and quadrant 1 Illinois that were offset by a quadrant 1 loss to Maryland.
While a number of teams ahead of Iowa suffered defeats during the week, few were enough to drop them below the Hawkeyes in the NET rankings. Those that were ultimately were offset by other teams surging up with key wins. The end result is Iowa remains slotted into the 5-line in the consensus brackets.
In the upcoming week, the Hawkeyes have another opportunity at a Q1 win on the road Wednesday nigh. They also have a chance at some revenge as Q4 Nebraska comes to town on Saturday.
Here’s your weekly breakdown of Iowa’s NCAA Tournament chances.
W - Michigan (35, Q2)
W - Rutgers (23, Q1)
W - Wisconsin (32, Q2)
L - @ Maryland (11, Q1)
W - Illinois (30, Q1)
Quadrant One Record: 7-4
Wins: Maryland, Rutgers, Texas Tech (N), Illinois, Cincinnati (N), @ Syracuse, @ Iowa State
Losses: San Diego State (N), @ Maryland, Penn State (N), @ Michigan
Quadrant Two Record: 3-1
Wins: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Quadrant Three Record: 2-1
Wins: Oral Roberts, @ Northwestern
Losses: @ Nebraska
Quadrant Four Record: 4-0
Wins: North Florida, Cal Poly, SIU Edwardsville, Kennessaw State
Wednesday, February 5th: @Purdue (39, Q1)
Saturday, February 8th: Nebraska (170, Q4)
Thursday, February 13th: @Indiana (51, Q1)
Sunday, February 16th: @Minnesota (44, Q1)
Thursday, February 20th: Ohio State (20, Q1)
Tuesday, February 25th: @Michigan State (10, Q1)
Saturday, February 29th: Penn State (24, Q1)
Tuesday, March 3rd: Purdue (39, Q2)
Sunday, March 8th: @Illinois (30, Q1)
Quadrant 1 Games Remaining: @Purdue, @Indiana, @Minnesota, Ohio State, @Michigan State, Penn State, @Illinois
Quadrant 2 Games Remaining: Purdue
Quadrant 3 Games Remaining: None
Quadrant 4 Games Remaining: Nebraska
It’s worth pointing out that every upcoming opponent with the exceptions of Penn State and Illinois are lower in the NET rankings this week than they were a week ago.
KenPom Projected Record: 22-9, 13-7*
Wins: Nebraska, @Indiana**, @Minnesota**, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue
Losses: @Purdue, @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: 11-7
Projected Quad 2 Record: 3-2
Projected Quad 3 Record: 3-1
Projected Quad 4 Record: 5-0
You can click the above links to see the sources for these projections.
Teams to Win: Iowa State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, DePaul, Northwestern, Nebraska, North Florida
As with a week ago, the Hawkeyes need to keep racking up more Q1 wins. They will have plenty of opportunities to do that. But an easy way to add Q1 wins is to have borderline teams, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesotra, win a few games and get a bump into the top-30. Iowa could also use Iowa State finding a way to just be average to stay inside the top 75. Their abysmal season has them on the verge of dropping into Q2 territory, which is difficult for a P6 school played on the road. Likewise, Iowa could use Northwestern and Nebraska knocking off a few Big Ten teams. That could help the Hawkeyes’ bid for a Big Ten title, but it would also help to have both of those somehow climb out of Q3.
The only addition to the list this week is North Florida. They were pointed out in the comments a week ago and I noted it seemed like a stretch to have them climb out of Q4. While that remains true, the Ospreys have a shot. Not only that, but they are currently tied for first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference. If they could find a way to win that and make the Tournament, that can only help Iowa.
Teams to Lose: Illinois, Michigan State, Maryland, Villanova, Butler, Auburn, Oregon, Creighton
Much like a week ago, Iowa could use Illinois, Michigan State and Maryland to lose some games as the Hawkeyes enter the home stretch with only three more games against ranked opponents on the schedule. Tournament seeding is great, but a Big Ten regular season title is the Ark of the Covenant.
Outside the Big Ten foes, the Hawkeyes could use losses from Butler, Auburn, Oregon and Creighton to help them in the seeding process. Creighton, despite a 16-5 record built largely on a slew of Q4 wins, has climbed to 14th in the NET rankings and are a spot in front of Iowa in the consensus seedings at the moment. The key difference here is the Bluejays don’t have a bad loss.
Oregon, Auburn and Butler are all sitting on the 4 line, along with Michigan State. Losses here could help propel Iowa up a seed line. While jumping all the way to a 3-seed might cause Iowa fans to re-live some horrific memories, getting to the 4-line would be a great development.