Iowa Hawkeyes: NCAA Tournament Team Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa Hawkeyes (11 Seed, Midwest Bracket)

20-12 (9-9 in Big Ten)

Coach: Fran McCaffery

Tournament Berth: Win and your in

Key Wins: #3 Ohio State, Nebraska, #10 Michigan
Key Losses: Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern

Iowa clawed themselves into the tournament. The Hawkeyes lost six of their last seven Big 10 games to finish 9-9 in the conference. After topping no. 10 Michigan on Feb. 8, the Hawkeyes appeared to be a guaranteed contender in March with a threat of making a deep run. Some speculated that Iowa could possibly be a one seed. Well, a lot can happen in a month. On Mar. 16, better known as Selection Sunday, the Hawkeyes made the tournament, but not as a number one seed. They have a first round play in game against a hot Tennessee Volunteers team. The winner of the play in game faces a six seeded UMass team.

The Hawkeyes started the season 19-6 with a quality road win at then no. 3 Ohio State and close loses to Villanova, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. All six of those teams have been ranked during the season and four of the games were on the road. The Michigan State and Villanova games were an overtime loss at home and a overtime loss at a neutral location. In their first 25 games, Iowa beat the teams they were supposed to and competed vs. elite competition. The strength of the Big Ten and their out of conference schedule is the reason the Hawkeyes made the tournament.

Top Players

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

R. Marble

17.3

.428

.712

.364

A. White

13.0

.592

.806

.267

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

A. White

6.7

1.8

4.9

0.6

M. Basabe

5.7

1.9

3.9

0.8

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

M. Gesell

3.9

1.3

1.3

3.0

R. Marble

3.5

1.8

1.8

2.0

Starting Five:

C – Adam Woodbury

F – Melsahn Basabe

F – Aaron White

G – Roy Devyn Marble

G – Mike Gesell

Who’s Hot: Not the Iowa Hawkeyes. The strongest pro-Iowa argument is that none of the six losses during their disheveled finish was spread by more than 10 points. Suggesting they have the talent to contend when led by leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble. Senior Shooting Guard Marble has scored 25+ points five times this season. When Marble reaches the 25 point plateau, the Hawkeyes are 3-2 with wins against NCAA tournament teams Michigan and Xavier. The starting shooting guard  is projected as the number 44 prospect in the 2014 draft, according to Draft Express.

Who’s Not: The Iowa Hawkeyes offensive efficiency in the last two games. Iowa scored 63 and 62 points against Illinois and Northwestern, two very mediocre Big Ten teams. In the first two matchups vs. Northwestern, Iowa won with offensive force. The Hawkeyes recorded 93 and 76 points, which is closer to their season average of 82 points per game, good for 10th in division one basketball. The original matchup vs. Illinois followed a similar pattern as they scored 81 points in a seven point victory.

Outlook: Regardless of the elevator regular season, the Iowa Hawkeyes have accomplished a spot in the NCAA tournament. Opportunity is in the Hawkeyes claws when they face an emerging Tennessee team that has won six of their last seven games. The winner will fortunately face a questionable no. 6 seed UMass team that is projected to lose in the second round against the Iowa-Tennessee winner, according to ESPN’s in Game Predictor. Do not be surprised if Iowa surfaces their early season performance, and makes an appearance in the third round of the NCAA tournament where they could face Duke.

Commentary by Niles Olson

Sources:

ESPN

Draft Express

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.