With the NCAA Tournament quickly approaching, the Iowa Hawkeyes are in the enviable position of not worrying about the bubble. Instead, Iowa is firmly on the right side of the bubble and simply playing for seeding at this point. As the days tick off of the calendar, we’ll be providing daily updates on games around the country which impact Iowa’s seeding for the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament with some guidance on who to root for and against.
Tonight is a pretty light slate of college hoops with less than a dozen Division 1 games on the docket. Even fewer have any real impact on Iowa’s seeding. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
There are in fact two games tonight which have some level of impact on Iowa this evening. Things kick off at 6pm with #12 Duke hosting NC State. Iowa hasn’t played either of those teams and NC State is very bubbly, but Duke is currently projected as a 3 seed per Bracket Matrix. The Hawkeyes are currently sitting on the 5 line. Two seed lines seems like a long ways to move, but every little bit helps.
If Iowa were to win their final two regular season games and take their first game of the Big Ten Tournament, that would likely be enough to bump them up at least one seed line. Duke, on the other hand, could ostensibly fall a seed line to 4 with a home loss to a bubble team like NC State. From there, it’s not unthinkable they could slide behind Iowa in the pecking order with some misfortune.
Matchup: NC State (18-11) at #12 Duke (23-6)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: NC State
The other game tonight has a much more meaningful impact for Iowa. Following the Duke-NC State game, Texas Tech will be at #4 Baylor. While Iowa won’t be jumping Baylor for NCAA Tournament seeding (barring a complete collapse by the Bears and Iowa winning the BTT), Texas Tech is no threat to jump Iowa either.
Bracket Matrix currently projects the Red Raiders as a 9 seed, unlikely to climb 4 seed lines to top Iowa. But the two did match up earlier this year with Iowa earning a signature win on a neutral site. A TTU win bolsters the Iowa resume as the Red Raiders would climb substantially from their current NET ranking of 23.
Matchup: Texas Tech (18-11) at #4 Baylor (25-3)
Tip Time: 8pm CT
Rooting For: Texas Tech
And that’s it for Monday, March 2nd. We’ll be back on Super Tuesday with a slew of matchups that impact Iowa’s seeding.