The Iowa Hawkeyes capped off their best regular season in a generation last week on a high note after winning seven of their final eight regular season games. That came to an end yesterday as they fell to Illinois in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in their first weekend appearance in the tournament in 15 years. They finish the year 21-8.
Now the Hawkeyes know where their next game will come as the NCAA released the full bracket for the NCAA Tournament. Iowa has earned a 2 seed, the highest since Tom Davis’ first year in 1986-87. That team was the last Iowa group to make an Elite Eight.
No. 2️⃣ seed in the Big Dance.#Hawkeyes x #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/VrXcxi79YI— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 14, 2021
They’ll face off with the Grand Canyon in round one on Saturday. The Antelopes earned the automatic bid out of the Western Athletic Conference after defeating the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday. The Antelopes finished the year 17-6 under first year coach Bryce Drew.
The Hawkeyes and Antelopes have never faced off. It’s worth noting only eight times in tournament history has a 15 seed defeated a 2 seed. The winner will advance to take on the winner of 7 seeded Oregon and 10 seed VCU on Monday, March 22nd. The Hawkeyes are looking for their first trip to the Sweet Sixteen since Davis’ final season in 1999.
The Big Ten led all conferences with 9 total teams in the tournament. That was two more than the next closest, the Big 12. The conference also led the way with two 1 seeds, Illinois and Michigan, as well as two 2 seeds in Iowa and Ohio State.
Other Big Ten teams to make the cut include 4 seed Purdue, 9 seed Wisconsin, 10 seeds Maryland and Rutgers, as well as 11 seed Michigan State, which will take on UCLA in the First Four.
Heres a look at the full bracket.
Game time for Iowa’s matchup with Grand Canyon on Saturday has yet to be announced. All games are being played in Indianapolis this year due to COVID-19, this there are no true regions.
We’ll break down Iowa’s matchup with the Antelopes, the story lines in that game, as well as all the others throughout the week. And don’t forget to check back for our annual bracket challenge, which will launch early this week.