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Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon and his Hawkeyes try to keep their bubble afloat Thursday.

Iowa’s Conference Tournament Bubble Guide, Jarrod Uthoff heading to the NBA and more

The best way to start your day is right here at as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. ET Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Thursday, March 9.

The Iowa Conference Tournament Bubble Guide 2017

Iowa’s conference tournament — otherwise known as the Iowa Big Dance Quest 2017 — begins Thursday. Some outcomes are simple. Fail to beat Indiana (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in the nation’s capital on Thursday and the tournament dreams are over. Win two games and the Hawkeyes likely punch their NCAA Tournament ticket.

But what happens if Iowa goes 1-1? Things get murky and a lot depends on what happens with the other teams contending for the final at-large berths. But have no fear. The Breakfast Club has you covered. You can follow along across the rest of the week and keep track of everything with this Iowa Conference Tournament Bubble Guide.

  • The Departed

Illinois State was destroyed 71-51 by Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last Sunday. Syracuse, Wake Forest and Clemson lost in the ACC Tournament on Wednesday. Wake Forest may be in the best position to still make the tournament out of this group. All four teams are vulnerable and could very well be out as it stands.  At a minimum, other bubble teams can jump over them with a deep conference tournament run.

  • Vanderbilt

The Commodores open with Texas A&M on Thursday. They are a 4-point favorite. The expectation is they win. Vanderbilt may only need one win to get in and could already be there regardless of its SEC tourney results. A quarterfinal win against No. 17 Florida on Friday would end all bubble talk. The Commodores may already be in because of a strong strength of schedule a slew of Top 100 RPI wins. Unless something wild happens, it may be best to assume they’ll go dancing.

  • USC

The Trojans may very well be in regardless of how things play out, but a win against UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday would assure it.

  • Rhode Island

The problem for the Rams is they won’t potentially get a shot at a real quality win until (unless) they make the Atlantic 10 semifinals and face Dayton. Rhode Island is a lot like the Hawkeyes — it likely needs two wins this weekend to feel safe come Selection Sunday.

  • Kansas State

The team’s big dance fate likely hinges on its Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal against No. 9 Baylor on Thursday. A win is strong enough to put the Wildcats in the tournament. Lose they’re likely going to the NIT.

  • Illinois

Like Iowa, Illinois is probably just outside the tournament. Unlike the Hawkeyes, however, the Illini may only need one Big Ten Tournament win to get in. That’s because Illinois on Thursday will face Michigan, who is in the NCAA Tournament field. A second win over No. 13 Purdue in the quarterfinals and Illinois can write its name into the bracket in pen.

  • Houston

The Cougars are a long shot, but if things fall right they could be a factor for an at-large bid. Ultimately, Houston likely needs to win the AAC Tournament to put on its dance shoes.

  • California

The Golden Bears need to do a lot of work this weekend to get into the NCAA Tournament. Three wins and a trip to the Pac-12 Tournament final, which would likely include victories against Utah and No. 5 Oregon, may very well be what it takes.

  • Xavier

The Musketeers are likely in with how things sit now, but they could be in tough situation if they can’t top No. 18 Butler in the Big East quarterfinals Thursday. Xavier, typically a double-digit seed in most bracket projections, could be sweating out Selection Sunday if a few bubble teams pull off upsets and they don’t.

So here is the basic rule: The more of the teams listed above eliminated before Friday the better. The more teams left playing on Saturday, the tougher Iowa’s at-large chances become.

Learn to love white and blue

Iowa fans may need to start figuring out when the Dallas Mavericks play. A report surfaced Wednesday that they plan to sign former Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff to a 10-day contract.

Uthoff was averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 assists for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA D League this season. He’s heading to the NBA following the best stretch of his pro career, scoring at least 20 points in 4 of his last 5 contests.

For the record, Dallas next plays on Friday, at home against Brooklyn.

Greatest Iowa Basketball Player Update

Land of 10 is trying to figure out the best Iowa basketball player ever. Readers are voting each day as the latest bracket matchup is unveiled. The first round consists of four players each day, with two advancing to the second round.

Dick Ives, Reggie Evans, James Moses and Steve Krafcisin went against each other on Day 8. It looks like Evans and Ives will move on.

Lots of links

  • Why Iowa needs to make the NCAA Tournament.
  • Be sure to vote if you haven’t in the Iowa Greatest Basketball Player bracket.