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Iowa men's basketball players Ahmad Wagner, left, and Tyler Cook.

Iowa’s NCAA Tournament chances, women’s basketball and baseball recaps and more

The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com 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 Monday, Feb. 27.


Can Iowa break out its dance shoes?

It’s back.

Thanks to an upset of No. 24 Maryland on Saturday, the chatter about Iowa’s NCAA Tournament chances is rising from the dead. There is nothing like a big, convincing win to make a fan base optimistic. So let’s take a realistic look at the Hawkeyes’ chances.

This is a team with three wins over Top 25 teams, but it’s also a team with a loss to Omaha and a strength of schedule getting dragged down by its non-conference schedule, as Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman recently pointed out.

The Hawkeyes likely need to win their next four games to even enter the tournament conversation. That would mean winning their final two regular-season games and making a run to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals with a pair of victories.

  • @Wisconsin 3-2

It’s never a good sign when any hopes of slipping on a dance slipper begins with a game with a 14 percent win probability, according to KenPom.com. Now the Badgers have dropped four of their last five, but the Hawkeyes would need to repeat their Maryland performance — far and away their best game of the season — to walk away with the victory and keep their tourney hopes alive. The first game is the toughest.

  • vs. Penn St. 3-6

Penn State brings in some intriguing talent in Tony Carr (13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists) and Lamar Stevens (12.5 points, 5.7 rebounds), but it is still Penn State. The Nittany Lions enter the week second-to-last in the league standings. This is the kind of home game Iowa needs to win. KenPom.com gives Iowa a 68 percent chance to win.

  • Big Ten Tournament March 8-12

There are plenty of possibilities for Iowa’s seed and potential opponents. Jon Miller, of HawkeyeNation.com, did a good job of going over it all and detailing what Iowa’s RPI would likely look like if it wins four tournament games.

Four wins would be hard enough — one of those Big Ten tourney wins would likely be over Wisconsin or Northwestern — but it may not be the hardest part. As Miller notes, Iowa’s best-case RPI is likely between 66 and 68. The lowest-rated RPI team to receive an at-large bid in the last six years was No. 67 (USC in 2011).

Whether you look at the RPI or the KenPom.com rankings, the Hawkeyes likely will need some help. Yes, this is a weak bubble, but that’s the case nearly every year with a 68-team field. A team stealing a bid by winning a conference tournament would harm Iowa, shrinking the pool for at-large teams.

It feels like it would be easier to win the Powerball than for everything to come together for Iowa. Those Powerball odds are 292,201,338 to 1.

 


 

Hawkeyes close regular season strong

The Iowa women’s basketball team beat Wisconsin 71-60 on Senior Day on Sunday. The Hawkeyes were led by Megan Gustafson and her 22 points. Ally Disterhoft scored 19 points. She was honored for reaching the 2,000-point career mark against Indiana on Wednesday.

Iowa is the No. 8 seed and will open the Big Ten Tournament against No. 9 Northwestern on Thursday (noon ET, BTN). The Hawkeyes (17-12, 8-8) likely will need to make a run in the conference tourney if they’re to make the NCAA Tournament. They were one of the first four teams out in ESPN’s latest bracketology.


Baseball weekend recap

Iowa went 2-1 at the Hoover Classic in Hoover, Ala. The Hawkeyes opened the weekend by beating Alabama State 9-2 on Friday. Jake Adams and Austin Guzzo hit two-run homers in the victory. Iowa lost 4-3 to Alabama State on Saturday. Robert Neustrom belted a solo home run in the loss.

The Hawkeyes wrapped up the weekend with a 14-7 win over Morehead State on Sunday. Mason McCoy led the way with two hits and four RBIs. Iowa is 4-3.


Historic run

It was a heck of a Saturday for the Iowa women’s tennis team. The Hawkeyes beat Evansville 6-1 and Western Illinois 7-0 to secure the second-best start in program history. Iowa won its first 12 matches in 1990.


Lots of links