The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Iowa has only themselves to blame for tournament situation


Even after losing to the lowly Northwestern Wildcats in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night, many of the so-called analysts had Iowa safely in the tournament.

Fast forward to Sunday. Thanks in large part to fellow bubble teams like Providence and St. Joseph’s winning their conference tournament, Iowa was knocked down to a First Four game in Dayton.  Iowa will take on the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday night at approximately 8:10 CT.  The winner will take on the 6th-seeded Massachusetts Minutemen Friday in Raleigh.  Two weeks ago, Iowa was projected to be around a 6 or 7 seed in the tournament but due to a home loss to Illinois (7-11 in Big Ten), and a loss in Indianapolis on Thursday to Northwestern — a team Iowa had beaten by 26 points in each of the two meetings and a team that had lost 7 of 8 prior to  — Iowa finds themselves in a tough situation.  As a result, the Hawkeyes have no one but themselves to blame for their situation.

After a rough end to the season, Iowa will face Tennessee in the First Four Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio.

Not only have the Hawkeyes lost six of their final seven games, but now they are losing to teams that they shouldn’t be losing, which was something the Hawks had been avoiding all season.  Their only win in that stretch, was a hard fought victory against Purdue, where they blew a 13 point halftime lead, and then overcame a 64-60 deficit to win 83-76.  Their opponent on Wednesday, the Tennessee Volunteers, is a team that is basically going in the opposite direction of Iowa.  Tennessee won their final 4 regular season games, including their final 3 games by a combined 93 points.  They also went toe-to-toe with the number 1 overall seed Florida in the semi-finals of the SEC tournament, losing 56-49 despite winning for much of the contest.  The Vols finished 21-12, and 11-7 in a very mediocre SEC this season.  Will Iowa be able to make up for what has been a disappointing season by winning a couple games in the NCAA tournament, or will they continue their downward spiral and end the season with a thud in Dayton?  Whatever happens Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes can only blame themselves for their tournament situation.