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
#4 - Connor’s One Shining Moment
#3 - Keegan’s Ohio State Sequence
#2 - The Keegan Murray Dunk Show
#1 - The Shot
Everyone will remember where they were when this game took place. Being the first Big Ten Tournament semi, I was at home, as the game tips early here. I have a 2-year-old, and I’m a bad dad and I allow him to watch stuff on our TV. All trains/fire trucks/dump trucks/any big vehicle. If he doesn’t get to watch it’s an enormous tantrum and I just don’t have time for that and I AM TERRIBLE and this now allows him to dominate the TV. So I get relegated to watching YouTubeTV on my phone (which is an awesome app and an awesome platform generally).
In this instance, that was fine. I got total solitude, headphones in. Total quiet. Just me, Nantz, Grant Hill, and RAFF. (A LITTLE...MANTOMAN!)
This whole game is an experience. This felt like the Nebraska game in Lincoln where Iowa didn’t play particularly well, only against a better opponent. It was a C+/B- game from Iowa for long stretches and it showed (and yet they scored 80 points. This team...). Fortunately Indiana wasn’t THAT much better than Nebraska - a better team beats Iowa by 10+ given how Iowa played. Every time Iowa got back in the game, down 1 or 2, IU would make a couple of buckets to get it back out to 5 or 6.
Then IU made a move. Two Miller Kopp 3s and a Trayce Jackson-Davis steal and dunk pushed the IU lead out to 9 with 5:31 left. I honestly walked away from my phone for a bit, unhappy Iowa didn’t play well, Indiana got hot and is desperate and playing with house money to make the tournament...but oh well. I’ll have next week to look forward to as a 6-seed. That was my only thought after the TJD dunk.
But here’s where we need to take a moment here to recognize how incredible Keegan was in this game. Here’s a highlight package. The first video I had on this was wonky in a couple of spots due to how it was shot so you couldn’t see who was shooting on a couple of these attempts, but that guy got suspended on Twitter. Nice job, idiot. So I found this instead and it captures him willing Iowa back into the game with a truly amazing 3-point barrage. Just...wow.
Yo how yall feeling about Keegan Murray, how you think his game will translate?— Frankie Vision (@Frankie_Vision) March 12, 2022
29 Pts (10-16 FG, 7-9 3PT) 8 Rebs, 3 Ast, 2 Stls & 2 Blks vs Indiana!!! pic.twitter.com/51uvC7q7L2
I think my favorite of the bunch is the 3 around the 1-minute mark of this video, the step back/pump fake 3 around TJD. That’s such an impressive play. TJD rocked out in this game and is one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten. So doing that to him is something else. You can see why Mike Woodson said this:
Indiana coach Mike Woodson: “(Keegan Murray) is the real deal. The NBA is going to love him. There’s nothing he can’t do with the ball in his hands. Sky’s the limit.”— Kennington Lloyd Smith III (@SkinnyKenny_) March 12, 2022
I’m not a huge Woodson guy. I don’t know if he’s a great fit at this level. But he has NBA credentials, both as a player and a coach, so when he says things like this, I sit up and take note.
To this point, Keegan was the main attraction. Jordan Bohannon was quiet - 1-6 from 3, just generally not doing much. Then he does this:
Same question for Indiana as I had for Northwestern - he’s been in the league since 2016-17, so surely you’re aware that Bohannon’s range is ridiculous and you should not lose him in transition? Maybe?
I’ll be honest - when that second 3 splashed through, I thought the game was over. No way Indiana comes back from that, at all. Bohannon rope-a-dopes you for 37 minutes, then drives a stake right through your damn heart? Game over, man.
OR NOT! Kris Murray commits a foul on Xavier Johnson and he makes two freebies, then Tony Perkins loses the handle and Johnson ties the game with a lay-up. Disaster. Iowa then does not call a timeout, the play is disjointed (they tried running that baseline play for Bohannon that they LOVE, but IU read it and got through the maze of screens), then, well, you know what happened.
Jordan Bohannon did not play 176 college games to lose to Indiana in the Big Ten tournament pic.twitter.com/q9QRCjHBoJ— Bowser2Bowser (@bowser2bowser) March 12, 2022
Still can’t believe that ending. (Neither can Patrick McCaffery, at the end of this clip.) pic.twitter.com/3wX3YzeFM8— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) March 13, 2022
He’s done this to Indiana a few times. Hoosier Nation is happy that his eligibility has expired. I’m going to have more on Bohannon vs. Indiana when I do J-Bo’s roster debrief later this spring. Indiana getting killed is going to feature prominently.
But when you think of Bohannon, this will probably be first. An all-time moment for Iowa fans everywhere, from an all-time Hawk, in a fun as hell season.
I hope everyone enjoyed this. I had fun going back through games/individual moments/runs and it washed the bad taste of the Richmond game out of my mouth. Disappointing, of course, but this was a fun team that missed shots in the most important game of the year. It happens - Kentucky lost to a 15-seed, you guys. Purdue lost to that same 15-seed!
I’m sure there are moments I forgot or didn’t highlight. Iowa pounding Michigan State probably deserved a shout, so it’s getting it here. Iowa with a winning streak against Tom Izzo is pretty rare, and the last two meetings have been Iowa by 30 and Iowa by 26. Keegan had a ton of individual moments I didn’t hit, especially early in the year when it was clear that he made a huge leap. They deserve a mention, though it was against cupcakes so I didn’t get them on the final list. Payton Sandfort looks like a really fun player the next few years with his size and quick trigger that allows him to shoot over everyone. He was crucial in the Big Ten Tournament Final. I can’t remember if this was a Slack conversation or a tweet I saw, but he’s basically the guy everyone wanted Josh Oglesby to be, only a couple of inches taller. Kris Murray was a badass in the Ohio State game and had flashes beyond the Indiana game. He was a killer at Michigan, for instance. This was just a fun team and easily one of the moment enjoyable of Fran’s tenure.
If I missed something, hit the comments!