Hawks in the Big Ten Tournament

Well, Iowa basketball couldn’t quite get it done in the Big Ten tournament yesterday, losing to Illinois.  The same Illini team that is 15-18 on the year.

The loss moved Iowa to 21-10.  The Hawks peaked in January and have fallen like a rock ever since.  We were ranked in the top 10 in the nation and in line for the No. 1 seed, and the right to play in Des Moines, just a few weeks ago.

Now we have lost six of our last seven games and I don’t know if there is a fix in store before the NCAA Tournament starts or not.

It doesn’t seem like Fran McCaffery is in a very good mood either.  He was pretty testy in his postgame interview, refusing to answer what the play call was supposed to be under the basket with four seconds left on the clock.

I’ve been tracking Iowa’s odds to win the NCAA tournament.  They were up to 12/1 which was 3rd best in the nation in late January.  Now, we were at 20/1 entering the conference tournament and will likely slip even more now.

Iowa was projected to be a 5-seed before yesterday, now Joe Lunardi has Iowa down as a 6-seed and playing a tough opponent in Gonzaga out in Denver.

For what it’s worth he has Iowa State as a 5-seed and playing Akron in Denver too.  That might help fans from the state bite the bullet and head over to Colorado to watch both teams play.  You would think that would help each team’s chances as most of the Cyclone fan base would rout for us, and I know I would be there pulling for Iowa State.

I don’t think there is much of a chance the Hawkeyes will win it all this year, despite the high hopes we had a month ago.  This is reminding me of the football season.  We start off great and expectations start to climb, but then towards the end of the year we finish poorly.

Then again, I’m not all that surprised we struggled in the Big Ten tourney.  We don’t have a great history in the event.  We won the title back in 2006, but since they Todd Lickliter never sniffed a win in the postseason, and Fran is now just 2-6, with four first round exits.  That includes three in a row where the Hawks have been the higher seeds and pretty significant favorites yet still failed to pull anything off.

Since 1998 iowa is just 15-17, but they do have two titles.  That trails only Ohio State (5), Michigan State (4), and Wisconsin (3).  Most of our success came with Steve Alford though.  Dr. Tom Davis, Lickliter, and McCaffery are now a combined 2-11.  Ouch.