The Iowa Hawkeyes suffered their most disappointing loss of the season last Thursday night. While the neutral site loss to Gonzaga was frustrating due to uncharacteristically poor shooting and the road loss to Minnesota was maddening due to the 7-point lead with less than a minute left in regulation, the Indiana loss was a new brand of hurt for Iowa fans thanks to a combination or poor shooting, injuries, questionable lineups and downright sloppy play.
Now, the Hawkeyes are being punished in the national polls for that miserable loss in what was their only game of the week thanks to the postponement of the Nebraska matchup. In the AP, Iowa is down three spots this week, perhaps better than expected, as a number of other teams behind them also dropped games during the week.
Here’s a look at the full poll:
- Gonzaga (61 first place votes)
- Baylor (3 first place votes)
- Texas Tech
- West Virginia
- Ohio State
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Saint Louis
Iowa’s loss certainly stings and not only did it drop them in the rankings, it also put them a full 1.5 games behind Michigan in the race for the Big Ten regular season championship. But over the weekend, we saw then #6 Tennessee fall to #19 Missouri (at home), #9 Kansas lose on the road at unranked Oklahoma and #10 Wisconsin fall to #15 Ohio State at home.
That softened the blow for Iowa a bit as each of those losers also fell down the rankings and Iowa lands just three spots lower. With the Wisconsin loss, the Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines are now the only Big Ten teams ranked inside the top-10. Ohio State continues to climb and is up to #13 while Wisconsin is now just behind them at #14. Illinois comes in at #19 ahead of Friday’s matchup with Iowa and Minnesota rounds things out for the conference at #21.
The Big Ten is again the top conference with 6 teams ranked. However, they’re now tied with the Big 12, which is up to 6 thanks to Oklahoma squeezing in after that win over Kansas. The Jayhawks fall to #15 despite being the only team in the rankings with 5 losses.
Over in the ACC, Virginia climbs 5 spots and into the top-10 nationally at #8 thanks to.... a 2-point home win over unranked Georgia Tech. Sure, that makes sense.
Over in the Coaches Poll, it’s a similar story as Iowa comes in at #7. In the NCAA’s NET rankings, Iowa falls to #5 after the loss while their RPI tumbles to 40th in the nation. In the advanced metrics, Iowa remains #3 in Sagarin while slipping behind Michigan in KenPom to #4.
Despite the slide, Iowa remains in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten regular season title. As noted in our deep dive on the implications of Michigan’s recent athletics pause, Iowa would win the Big Ten if they simply win out. The Hawkeyes are set to travel to Michigan on March 4th with the winner in line to win the title.
Iowa is back in action this Friday night as they travel to #19 Illinois. That’s an 8pm CT tip on FS1.