With college football officially in the rearview mirror, Iowa Hawkeye fans can fully devote their collegiate attention to basketball for the next several months. While that obviously means tuning in to all of Iowa’s games, it also means being aware of other games going on around the country. This is, after all, an Iowa team with its sights set on winning not just a Big Ten Championship, but also a National Championship.
So, each week until Selection Sunday, we’ll be highlighting games to watch every weekend with a tie in to our Hawkeye rooting interests.
Here’s what to watch in week 12 of the college basketball season.
The Iowa Hawkeyes dropped a big one on Thursday night at Michigan, but there’s no time to stew on the past. The Hawkeyes now move forward to a weekend that will determine their Big Ten Tournament fate and potentially their NCAA Tournament seed.
That all centers around a Sunday showdown with #4 Ohio State. But before we get there, there are plenty of other games this weekend that will play a factor in Iowa’s seed both for the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament.
Here’s your weekly look at what games to watch this weekend and who to root for.
Three’s really only one game of consequence for Iowa on Friday night and it’s in the Big Ten. Purdue is at Penn State at 6pm on FS1. You’ll recall from our Big Ten Tournament Seeding Scenarios analysis that a Purdue loss locks Iowa into a double bye in the Big Ten Tournament if they can find two wins in their final three games. A Penn State win also helps get them closer to a Q1 win for the Hawkeyes. Go Lions.
Saturday is a big one for the Hawkeyes and perhaps the biggest game comes in the Big Ten. At 1pm, #5 Illinois is at #23 Wisconsin on ESPN. The implications here are pretty significant. If Wisconsin wins - and that’s a big if, but Illinois is likely to be without superstar Ayo Dosunmu - Iowa can still earn a 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament if they win out. The Illini would still need to drop games to Michigan and Ohio State, but that doesn’t seem at all far fetched given both are on the road. In such a scenario, Iowa almost certainly finishes as a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament as well.
Outside the Big Ten, there are a number of other games that have implications for NCAA Tournament seeding.
Here’s a rundown of the most noteworthy for Iowa fans to follow (team to root for bolded):
- #14 Texas at #18 Texas Tech - 11am on CBS
- Oklahoma State at #7 Oklahoma - 2pm on ABC
- Kansas State at #10 West Virginia - 3pm on ESPN2
- #11 Florida State at North Carolina - 3pm on ESPN
- #6 Alabama at Mississippi State - 5pm on SECN
- #2 Baylor at #17 Kansas - 7pm on ESPN
Everything this weekend comes down to Iowa’s matchup with #4 Ohio State on Sunday. That’s a 3pm tip on CBS and much of the above has little impact if Iowa loses this one. If they win, however, a world of possibilities still sit in front of the Hawkeyes.
Outside of Iowa’s game, there are two other that could impact the Hawkeyes come seeding time. The first is #8 Villanova at Butler. That’s an 11am tip on CBS. Butler isn’t likely to pull off the upset, but if you read the weekly bracketology breakdown, you know Nova is the only team in the 4-9 range that didn’t lose a game last week. They are currently a 2 seed and a loss would help boost Iowa.
The other game to keep an eye on is South Florida at #12 Houston. It’s a 3pm tip like Iowa-Ohio State and will be on ESPNU. Houston took an L last week and fell to the 3 line. That’s where Iowa is now so some separation would be nice.