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Hawkeye Basketball 2021-22 Top 10: #5 - The Northwestern Massacre

Iowa might never play this well again in my life

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament- Iowa vs Northwestern Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 2021-22 Iowa Basketball Top 10! To review previous entries, click the links below:
#10 - The UVA Sequence
#9 - The Tony Perkins Experience
#8 - Keegan’s Penn State Tip Drill
#7 - The Billy Taylor Game
#6 - Mt. Bohannon Erupts!

#5 - The Northwestern Massacre

Anything in my top 5 could’ve been a contender for the top spot on the list. Even the Bohannon Maryland game could’ve made the cut given how dominant Iowa’s performance was that night. Iowa somehow bettered their near-immaculate Maryland output with this show-stopper against the hapless Wildcats in the Big Ten Tournament Second Round that put the “j” in jNW.

In all the years I’ve watched Iowa basketball, I’m struggling to think of a game where Iowa had a team in the danger zone almost immediately. Like before the first media timeout. This game was in that range immediately as Iowa ran out on a smooth 17-4 run to start the game and managed an insane 64 points in the first half. Iowa was over 1.8 points per possession for a portion of the first half. Late in the half too, not like the first handful of possession. That...I’ve honestly never seen a number like that before.

Iowa finished the game by smashing a ton of Big Ten Tournament records in hilarious fashion. They did the following in this game:

  • Most points scored in a Big Ten Tournament game (112, beating the previous mark of 97 set by Maryland in 2016)
  • Most field goals in a game (43, besting Ohio State’s mark of 37 also set in 2016)
  • 19 made 3s (the previous mark was 14, set by Illinois twice in 2016 and 2018; this was one off the school record, set earlier in the year against Alabama State)
  • Biggest margin of victory (36)

Iowa had 11 3s in the first half. Here you go:

Honestly I think my favorite in this group is the Connor 3 and the reaction from Chris Collins. The shrug says it all. “No close outs on anyone at all? Not even Connor? Cool guys. You know our season is over today if we lose, right??” Also, Bohannon had been in the league since 2016-17 - were they unaware of his range? No close outs on those 25-footers? Cool. Not going to stick to Keegan at all? Neat. Kris, wide open? Sure, why close out on that? You do you, jNW.

The game was so out of hand that Luc Laketa got a late banked 3. He got some legit Fran rage for banking that one, Iowa’s last of the game, when he was told not to shoot. Like, serious Fran rage on that, to the point Chris Collins had to tell him multiple times it was ok. Collins played too, and at Duke. He knew. When you get your ass kicked, you get your ass kicked. Collins knew it and had no problem with a walk-on throwing something in. One of those days. Fran was HOT though.

I picked Filip Rebraca for the picture for this moment because, hey, that guy deserves a little love. I like him. Looking at the box score. (which is hilarious, by the way; the shooting, the 3-point numbers, the rebounding’s all laugh out loud funny.) He had 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks in this game. His biggest fault is he’s not 6-11. He’s not as tall or as good a rim protector as Jack Nunge. (shoutout Jack Nunge!) And that’s ok. Ok offensively, but he’s good defensively on the perimeter. And while not being a huge guy, he held up down low after taking a pounding all year. Kudos to him, a good use of the portal, and I’m happy he’s back next year.

If you ever have a bad day, if you ever think about the Richmond game when Iowa just didn’t shoot well, pull this game up. Watch it. It will make you smile. Your day will instantly be better.