Iowa’s 67-65 upset win over No. 6 Purdue won’t earn the Hawkeyes a bid to the NCAA Tournament, but postseason hopes aren’t completely out of the question for the Black and Gold.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said during a Feb. 24 teleconference that the Hawkeyes received a letter of inquiry from officials who run the College Basketball Invitational. Now in its fourth season, the 16-team postseason tournament begins on March 15 and is held at campus sites.
While it may not be the NCAA Tournament, participating in the CBI could be a good start for a program that hasn’t made it to the postseason since an embarrassing first round loss to Northwestern State in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
“Anytime you have a chance to play in the postseason, I would be interested,” McCaffery said on Feb. 24.
Teams do not need a winning record to qualify for the CBI tournament, which is run by the Gazelle Group. The group invites squads based on overall performance during the regular season and how well a team is playing at the end of the season.
An upset win over the Boilermakers Saturday certainly won’t hurt the Hawkeyes chances. Iowa (11-19, 4-14) has defeated four teams with winning records this season (Alabama, Northern Iowa, Michigan State, and Purdue).
If selected, the Hawkeyes wouldn’t be the first school with a losing record to make the field. Oregon State received a bid to the 2009 CBI Tournament despite having only a 13-17 record in the regular season.
The Beavers went on the win the tournament.
No Big Ten school has ever played in the tournament, but six schools from BCS conferences have participated over the last three seasons (St. John’s, Cincinnati, Washington, Stanford, Virginia, and Oregon State).