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.
Thursday night was another mixed bag for Iowa fans looking to see the Hawkeyes get an improved seed in the NCAA Tournament. On the one hand, the biggest impact of them all went their way. Ohio State took down Illinois, meaning a win in Champaign on Sunday gives Iowa the 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and that coveted double bye.
But on the other hand, a number of the more ancillary games went against Iowa. The North Florida Ospreys, for example, fell in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament against Lipscomb. That will keep them firmly as a Q4 win. Stanford also failed to take down Oregon State. That one was less impactful, but the win likely keeps the Beavers as a Q1 win for Colorado, who is sharing the 6 line with Iowa. Michigan also took down Nebraska, as expected. They’ll stay on the 6 line with Iowa as well.
That’s not to say it was all bad, however. Number 21 Houston did fall on the road to UConn. That will keep them firmly behind Iowa on the 7 line.
Friday night is a relatively light night for college hoops. There are a number of conference tournament games, but few will have any impact on resumes for Iowa or their competition. UNI vs. Drake is already underway with implications for bubble teams (a Panther loss might take a spot away from a P6 team), but most of the tournament games today have little bearing on teams in the top 8 seeds as of today’s projections.
Matchup: Kent State (19-11) at Akron (203-7)
Tip Time: 5:30pm CT
Rooting For: Kent State
This one is pretty low priority, but Akron is a Q2 win for West Virginia, who is slated as a 7 seed right now. A loss to Kent State likely drops them to a Q3 win for the Mountaneers. Not a major change, but every little bit helps.
Matchup: Richmond (23-7) at Duquesne (21-8)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: Duquesne
Richmond is sitting on a couple of resumes of note for Iowa fans. Auburn took down the Spiders while Wisconsin has a Q1 loss to them. If they fall to Duqesne, Wisconsin (who sits on the 5 line as of today) may end up with another Q2 loss and Auburn may end up with one less Q1 win.
And that’s it for Friday, March 6th. Check back tomorrow and every day through Selection Sunday.