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NCAA Tournament, here we come!


After several years of blogging, there aren't many things that we haven't covered at BHGP.  We've covered coaching searches.  We've covered scandals.  We've covered Big Ten Championships (albeit none in football or men's basketball).  We've covered major bowl game triumphs.  We've covered countless winning streaks (and more than a few losing streaks as well).  We've covered Iowa basketball's return to the NCAA Tournament -- and (eventually) their first NCAA Tournament win in 15 years.  We've covered the Iowa women's basketball team's return to the Sweet 16 for the first time in almost 20 years.  We've covered triumphs in golf, track and field, and field hockey.  We've even covered a few national championships, thanks to wrestling.

But we've never covered an NCAA Tournament appearance by the Iowa baseball team.  And, honestly, I'm not sure it's something we ever really expected to cover here.  After all, Iowa baseball hasn't made it to the NCAA Tournament since 1990 -- a literal quarter-century ago.  That's quite a wait.  It's been an even longer wait since their last win in the NCAA Tournament:

There aren't a lot of Iowa sports things that you can say haven't been done since Nixon was in office, frankly.  We'll have to wait until the weekend to see if Iowa baseball can actually add an NCAA Tournament win to their total this year, but now we know the who, when, and where of Iowa's NCAA Tournament experience:

Iowa NCAA Tournament baseball

Iowa earned a #2 seed and will play #3 seed Oregon in Springfield, MO on Friday at 12 PM CT, with TV/streaming coverage from ESPN3.

Missouri State is the #1 seed and host team for the regional, as well as the #8 national seed.  It would have been nice for Iowa to be drawn into a region that didn't include a national seed, since on paper the national seeds are the top-8 teams in the nation.  But whoever Iowa drew as a regional host was going to be a tough team.  At least Springfield, MO is a pretty close road trip for Iowa.

EDIT: As commenter TheNakedBootlegger reminds us, Iowa also beat Missouri State earlier this season in dramatic fashion.

You can find the full bracket for the 2015 NCAA Tournament right here.

We'll have much more preview material on the teams in Iowa's regional this week, but here's an early RPI breakdown of the regional:

#1 Missouri State (45-10, RPI 7) 
#2 Iowa (39-16, RPI 29) 
#3 Oregon (37-23, RPI 62) 
#4 Canisius (34-28, RPI 193)

Oregon has a fairly unassuming profile, record and RPI-wise, and was one of the Last 4 In per ESPN, but they shouldn't be overlooked -- they took two out of three games from National #1 seed UCLA in the final weekend of the season, so they have plenty of ability.

But hey: Iowa's in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years.  Let's celebrate.

Go Iowa Awesome.