clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Iowa Basketball Bracketology: Indiana Loss Costs Hawkeyes Top Seed

Iowa gets their first bad loss of the year and immediately gets punished in the bracket.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Iowa
Thursday’s loss certainly changed the math the rest of the way in Iowa City.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes got what we had all been hoping for earlier this week. They picked up a blowout win over Northwestern last Sunday and were rewarded with the coveted 1 seed when fresh brackets were released earlier this week.

Then the wheels fell off on Thursday night. Despite jumping out to an early lead and looking to put things on cruise control once again, CJ Fredrick missed the second half of Iowa’s matchup with Indiana while Jordan Bohannon had one the his worst shooting performances of his career. The Hoosiers were able to pack it in on Luka Garza and Iowa had the worst stretch of offensive output in recent memory.

So, where does the loss put them entering the weekend? Here’s our weekly rundown.

Current Rankings

As of Friday, January 22nd, the Hawkeyes are in good shape. They moved up in the AP and NET rankings this week and entered Thursday night’s game in the top-4 nationally in every ranking imaginable. That no longer holds true.

The loss Thursday sent Iowa’s RPI plummeting 21 spots to 38th nationally. Despite that big drop, the Hawkeyes fell just two spots in the NCAA’s NET rankings this morning. They also remained unchanged in both the KenPom and Sagarin ratings, which should speak to the body of work to-date for Iowa.

But make no mistake, come Monday we should expect the AP and Coaches to punish the Hawkeyes severely because that’s how this works.

Here’s your weekly look at how things stand in the various rankings.

KenPom: 3
Sagarin: 3
AP: 4
NET: 5
RPI: 38

Nitty Gritty

For those unfamiliar, the nitty gritty report is one of the components utilized by the selection committee come Selection Sunday. It provides an in depth breakdown of a team’s resume according to the NCAA’s NET rankings. Here’s a look at Iowa’s nitty gritty report as presented by

Image via

The full team report is an interesting story if you look more frequently than every Friday. On the surface, this week looks a lot like last week. Minnesota and Purdue are on the cusp of being Q1 wins, but aren’t there as of today. but earlier this week they were and Iowa entered Thursday night with more Q1 wins than anyone else in the country. Look for that to be the case again come Monday morning if each team can avoid a loss over the weekend.

One interesting note, North Carolina Central has jumped out of Q4 and into Q3. This despite one of the wildest schedules you’ll see in America. NCCU hasn’t played a game since December 12th, when they lost to North Carolina. In fact, they’ve only played 4 games all year, losing to Iowa, UNC and Coastal Carolina. Their lone win was against Southern in Iowa City and it took OT to get there.

Even more wild, NCCU only has 9 more games scheduled... against 4 opponents. Bottom line, this should be a demonstration of the flaws built into the NET rankings.

Latest Bracketology

As noted above, the Hawkeyes got a nice bump in the consensus bracket this week before the brutal loss last night. According to Bracket Matrix, Iowa was a consensus 1 seed throughout the week. The site hasn’t refreshed as of this writing, but it’s safe to say the Hawkeyes won’t be holding on.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has his fresh bracket out this morning. After moving Iowa up to the 1 line earlier in the week, he dropped them down a line in his latest bracket this morning.

Image via ESPN

That’s not technically a change from last week, but it’s certainly frustrating knowing they had made the jump and could have been in prime position for a very nice path in the Tournament, as well as the Big Ten.

A couple other observations this week:

  • Michigan can apparently do no wrongs. Iowa was punished to no end for their OT road loss to Minnesota a few weeks back. Michigan got pummeled by that same Minnesota team in really their first road test of the year and as a result, they didn’t move at all in the seeding.
  • Villanova didn’t move for nearly a month despite not playing. Then, the day they were set to return, most brackets dropped them down a spot for Iowa to jump to the 1 line. That has of course reversed this morning.
  • The Big Ten remains far and away the best conference in America with 10 teams currently set to be in. Indiana, Iowa’s opponent on Thursday night, is listed as a 10 seed and also didn’t seem to get any bump in seeding today for their win.

Rooting Interests

The Hawkeyes aren’t in action this weekend thanks to the COVID-19 issues at Nebraska, so no rooting for Iowa until next week. Given how Thursday went, that may be a good thing.

However, there are some other teams to watch. Purdue hosts #7 Michigan on Friday night and Iowa would get a boost with a Boiler win as that would put them back in Q1. It would also move Michigan even with Iowa in the loss column.

As noted, Minnesota is the other one on the cusp of jumping back to Q1 in the win column. They host Maryland this weekend for a chance to make that move.

On the other hand, Northwestern is sliding in away that could hurt two-fold for Iowa. At #71 in the NET, the Wildcats are on the verge of falling out of a Q1 win on the road AND a Q2 win at home. They play at Penn State on Saturday night.

Outside of those on the cusp, the biggest thing from here on out is going to be losses for those teams sitting in front of Iowa. Michigan is the big one, obviously, but also the likes of Villanova and Texas. Houston and Wisconsin are the other teams currently sitting on the 2 line that Hawkeye fans would like to see go down.

To pair with rooting interests, we’ll continue to have updates on games to watch each Friday through the end of the season that will highlight upcoming games featuring some of the above teams, as well as others.