With just three days to go until ¡Domingo Selección!, BHGP will provide a daily rundown of potential bracket scenarios, straight from the mouths of the nation's preeminent bracketologists. Note: These brackets have not been approved by the FDA, and are provided on a trial basis only.
CURRENT STATUS: SLIP SIDING PAST SEVEN
Joe Lunardi, ESPN: 7 seed, Omaha vs. Dayton
Jerry Palm, CBS: 7 seed, Omaha vs. Georgia
Chris Dobbertean, SB Nation: 8 seed, Charlotte vs. Davidson
Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: 7 seed, Omaha vs. Georgia
Bracket Matrix: Final 7 seed
Iowa's loss to Penn State in the second round of the Big Ten tournament did precisely what we expected: Everybody but Joe Lunardi moved the Hawkeyes down one line in their Friday brackets. The Hawkeyes now look like a borderline 7/8 seed, a distinction that brings a world of difference. Seven seeds get bubble teams in the first round and tough-but-manageable second round opponents, unless they have the good luck of being drawn with Georgetown on the 2 line. Eight seeds get coin flip first round games and 20-point beatdowns over the weekend, unless they have the good luck of being drawn with Gonzaga on the 1 line. Frankly, the difference between 6 and 7 is far less than that between 7 and 8.
The bad news: Iowa's loss leaves them almost no room to move further up. While the die is cast for the Hawkeyes, it is also set for any other team that has already lost. Losses by teams ahead of Iowa, no matter how ugly they might be, likely won't result in those teams dropping behind a squad that flamed out in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.
The good news: There aren't many teams in position to leapfrog Iowa going forward. Most of our concern over the Big East bracket was built on the contingency that many of those teams are currently ahead of Iowa, and a deep Big Ten run by the Hawkeyes could leave them room to move up. After Thursday, the only team of real concern is likely Xavier, which beat Butler in overtime Thursday; the other three Big East teams entered ahead of Iowa and will remain there (even Butler, because an overtime loss to Xavier is far better than a bedwetting against Penn State).
The other good news: It's become a fait accompli that Kansas is (1) getting a 2 seed, and (2) going to Omaha. Literally every major bracket has the Jayhawks doing precisely that. If Iowa is indeed a 7 seed, there are likely only three potential 2 seeds to pair the Hawkeyes with; Iowa can't play in Wisconsin's side of the bracket, and the Badgers also look destined for a 2 seed at the moment. Further, other projected 7 seeds, such as San Diego State, would pair up nicely in Portland or Seattle with the western 2 seeds, Gonzaga and Arizona. That makes the odds of Iowa playing its first weekend of the tournament just 250 miles down Interstate 80 fairly high. Three of the four major brackets have the Hawkeyes in Omaha at the moment, all of them paired up with Kansas.
It looks increasingly likely that Iowa could get one of two 7 seeds given to Big Ten teams, with the other going to the winner of Ohio State-Michigan State Friday night. If you want any rooting interest in that game, go with Sparty; Iowa's case for better seeding that Ohio State is strong, far stronger than any case that can be made for MSU (I would guess Michigan State is already ranked higher than Iowa).
The crucial Friday game could be Oregon's Pac-12 semifinal against Utah; the Utes are well ahead of Iowa now, but an Oregon run to the conference championship game could move the Ducks to a 7 seed. Elsewhere, a loss by Cincinnati in Friday night's AAC quarterfinal against UConn would help, as would a Richmond win over VCU in the Atlantic 10. LSU and Georgia, both firmly behind Iowa at the moment, make their first postseason appearance Friday against cupcake-y Auburn and South Carolina, respectively. Losses there would take both out of the equation, and Kentucky is obviously in place to stop any run to the conference title (a win over Kentucky by either team would almost certainly leave Iowa on an 8 line, though).
WHAT TO WATCH: FRIDAY
Hoops. Watch lots of hoops. Here are the most important games, with your rooting interest in boldface (all times God's time zone).
11 a.m., ESPN2 -- East Carolina vs. SMU
1:30 p.m., NBCSN -- Richmond vs. VCU
2 p.m., SEC Network -- LSU vs. Auburn (WAR DAMN PEARLS)
6 p.m., Fox Sports 1 -- Villanova vs. Providence
8 p.m., BTN -- Ohio State vs. Michigan State
8 p.m., SEC Network -- South Carolina vs. Georgia
8 p.m., ESPNU -- UConn vs. Cincinnati
8 p.m., PAC-12 Network -- Arizona vs. UCLA (just cuz)
8:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1 -- Georgetown vs. Xavier
10:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network -- Oregon vs. Utah
10:30 p.m., CBSSN -- San Diego State vs. Colorado State
That should be enough to keep you busy. We'll update all weekend.