Surging Iowa Hawkeyes Will Be Tough To Deal With In Big Ten Tournament

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Iowa isn’t going to win a Big Ten championship, but the Hawkeyes are certainly shaping up to be a dangerous team come conference tournament time.

Their latest win was signed, sealed and delivered on Tuesday night as they took down Illinois, which has been on a roll as of late as well. The Hawkeyes won 63-55 and have racked up five wins in their last seven games.

The Fighting Illini lost for only the second time in eight games.

Iowa has challenged its share of top-tier opponents in the conference.

The Hawkeyes lost by four to Indiana in their conference opener, lost by four to Wisconsin in each of their two meetings with the Badgers and have three other losses to nationally ranked Big Ten teams that have come by nine points or less.

Granted, there are no moral victories in big-time college basketball, but the Hawkeyes have hardly been a pushover in a season where very little was expected of them.

Against the Fighting Illini, Roy Devyn Marble rose to the occasion, pouring in 21 points while Josh Oglesby came through with a stellar effort, scoring 10 points, including six on a pair of 3-pointers that shifted the momentum in Iowa’s favor late in the second half.

At 19-11, there is a chance Iowa could get itself a spot in the NCAA tournament, in part because it does play in a conference believed to be one of the best in the nation.

Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but based on how tough Iowa has played teams and how well it has played lately, the Hawkeyes are going to be a handful in the Big Ten tournament this month.

Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.

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