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Iowa Basketball: Hawkeyes Hold Steady at 5th Nationally

The Hawkeyes close out the regular season right where they started.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Iowa
Iowa stays at #5 in the final regular season polls.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes closed out the regular season with a win on Sunday over then #25 Wisconsin. It was a hard fought battle that came at the expense of Joe Wieskamp’s ankle. While that injury could prove costly for the Hawkeyes, Iowa was able to edge out the Badgers for a second time this season in his absence.

The win held the Hawkeyes steady at #5 nationally this week as the AP released their final poll before power conference tournaments kick off this week. While Iowa didn’t move around, several other top teams shifted positioning thanks to some big time losses over the weekend.

Here’s a look at this week’s full poll:

  1. Gonzaga (61)
  2. Baylor (2)
  3. Illinois
  4. Michigan
  5. Iowa
  6. Alabama
  7. Houston
  8. Arkansas
  9. Ohio State
  10. West Virginia
  11. Kansas
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Texas
  14. Villanova
  15. Florida State
  16. Virginia
  17. Creighton
  18. Loyola Chicago
  19. San Diego State
  20. Texas Tech
  21. Purdue
  22. Virginia Tech
  23. Colorado
  24. USC
  25. Oklahoma

There was quite a bit of carnage in the top-25 last week. Michigan lost twice on the week, dropping them from 2nd to 4th. With their fall, Baylor jumps back to #2 and Illinois climbs to #3. That keeps three Big Ten teams in the top-5 nationally for another week.

Elsewhere, West Virginia also lost twice on the week, dropping from 6th to 10th, while Ohio State fell from 7th to 9th after losing to Illinois. As a result, their remain 4 Big Ten teams inside the top-10.

Purdue continued their strong finish to the year with a pair of wins. That help jump them past Ohio State in the Big Ten standings and into a double-bye in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. It also jumped them up to a tie for 20th nationally with Texas Tech, which fell from 18th after a weekend loss. Iowa’s win over Wisconsin finally bumped them out of the top-25. That leaves just five Big Ten teams ranked this week - the lowest total of the season.

Over in the Coaches Poll, Iowa continues to be lower than anywhere else. They move up two spots but were already highly underrated, meaning they only climb to 6th nationally, behind Alabama. In the advanced metrics, Iowa continues to shine above what the coaches or national media seem to recognize. In KenPom, the Hawkeyes climb to 4th nationally behind just Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan. In Sagarin, Iowa is even higher at 3rd, ahead of Michigan.

By staying at 5th this week, the Hawkeyes have now gone wire to wire in the regular season ranked inside the top-15. The vast majority of the year was spent inside the top-10 and substantial portions in the top-5. Iowa finishes the regular season right where they started at #5.

Now they look to the Big Ten Tournament and the impending NCAA Tournament to further reach their preseason goals and expectations with sites set on a Big Ten Championship and a Final Four run. Iowa will next take the floor on Friday evening at roughly 8pm CT. They will face the winner of the Wisconsin-Nebraska/Penn State.