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Hawkeye Basketball: Iowa Jumps in AP, NET After Northwestern Win

Iowa continues to climb in just about every metric.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Northwestern
Luka Garza and the Hawkeyes sit atop the Big Ten standings.
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes had a shorter week than expected last week after their matchup with the Michigan State Spartans was postponed, but that didn’t stop them from capping things off with a dominating win over Northwestern on Sunday. Iowa brought solid defense while lightning things up from all over the court in their win over the Wildcats.

Not only did the win push Iowa to the top of the Big Ten standings, but it also helped the Hawkeyes move up in the national polls this week. After being jumped a week ago by the Texas Longhorns, Iowa is back to #4 in the nation thanks to the win over Northwestern and losses by both Michigan and Texas.

Here’s a look at the full poll:

  1. Gonzaga (62 first place votes)
  2. Baylor (2 first place votes)
  3. Villanova
  4. Iowa
  5. Texas
  6. Tennessee
  7. Michigan
  8. Houston
  9. Kansas
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Creighton
  12. Texas Tech
  13. Virginia
  14. West Virginia
  15. Ohio State
  16. Virginia Tech
  17. Minnesota
  18. Alabama
  19. Missouri
  20. Clemson
  21. Oregon
  22. Illinois
  23. Connecticut
  24. UCLA
  25. Saint Louis

While Iowa moved up on the big win Sunday and some help from Texas, the rest of the Big Ten has started the feeding frenzy. Despite its blowout loss at Minnesota in their first real road game against a quality opponent, Michigan remains inside the top-10 at #7. After that, however, there was a fair amount of movement for the conference.

Wisconsin fell a spot to #10 after getting blown out by Michigan early in the week and then taking down Rutgers at the RAC. Illinois has gone into free fall in the rankings after losing their last two games. They fell at home to Ohio State on Saturday and proceeded to fall 8 spots in the AP poll to #22.

On the flip side, the win helped propel Ohio State up 6 spots in the rankings to #15 nationally. For their win over Michigan, Minnesota also jumped 6 spots up to #17. That puts the total at 6 Big Ten teams ranked, which remains the most of any conference.

Fun fact for Iowa fans: the Hawkeyes will face every ranked Big Ten team either twice or will only play them on the road. After playing Minnesota home-and-home, Iowa still has two matchups with #15 Ohio State and #10 Wisconsin on the docket, as well as road trips to #22 Illinois and #7 Michigan for a total of 8 games against Big Ten teams currently ranked with 4 on the road. For comparison’s sake, no other ranked Big Ten team has more than 2 road games against ranked opponents left on the schedule. Fun times ahead.

Outside the AP, the Coaches finally got their heads out of their rear ends and bumped Iowa up a whopping 4 spots this week for their win over Northwestern. They now have Iowa at #4 nationally, in line with the AP.

Over in computer land, the various “advanced” rankings have converged with KenPom, Sagarin and the NCAA’s NET all putting Iowa at #3 in the nation this week. There is widespread consensus that Gonzaga and Baylor at #1 and #2 respectively, but the AP and Coaches polls have kept Villanova at #3 despite not playing a game in nearly a month. They’re slated to be back on the court again this Tuesday.

Iowa will be back in action on Thursday evening as they travel to Indiana. That’s currently scheduled as an 8pm tip on FS1. Iowa’s matchup with Nebraska originally slated for this Sunday has been postponed due to ongoing COVID-19 issues within the Husker program.