Iowa Hawkeyes Squander NCAA Tournament Hopes in Loss to Nebraska

By Eric Smith
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes were moving closer and closer to the bubble for an NCAA Tournament berth. They were really starting to hit their stride as they moved up to seventh in the Big Ten standings with winner’s of three in a row and four of their last six games entering today’s matchup with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Iowa entered 17-9 overall and 6-7 in conference play as they were inching closer to getting in the conversation for a berth in next month’s tournament. They had a favorable schedule with playing the three-win in Big Ten play Nebraska twice to go along with home matchups with Purdue and Illinois and a road game at Indiana.

No one really expects Iowa to beat Indiana on March 2nd, but there would likely be favorites to win the other games including today’s game in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Instead of capitalizing on the moment, Iowa dropped the must-win game 64-60 at Nebraska and now falls to 17-10 overall and 6-8 in the conference. That loss isn’t going to look good on their resume when the selection committee is looking at putting Iowa in the tournament or not.

In fact, this loss could keep them out as losing to a bad Nebraska team that won’t even come close to making one of the three postseason tournaments near the end of the year will bring them down especially how they played in the second half.

Iowa led by 16 points at the half 41-25 and looked like they would win their fourth straight game and move closer to getting in the top five of the conference standings. The second half was a different story as they could only score 19 measly points and gave up 39 to Nebraska to lose by four.

A team that can only muster 19 points in the second half against a bad Nebraska team isn’t a tournament team in my book. This is a bad loss for the Hawkeyes.

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