The Iowa Hawkeyes could have easily been selected to play in the NCAA tournament last season, but a weak non-conference schedule probably had something to do with their name not being called. That will not be the case in the 2013-14 college basketball season.
Notre Dame and Iowa State highlight Iowa’s non-conference schedule, but it will also play in the Battle 4 Atlantis, which will host teams such as Kansas, Xavier and Tennessee. Since we are on that subject, the Hawkeyes will take on the Musketeers in that tourney.
Playing Kansas would be huge and a victory against the Jayhawks would be at least 1,000 times better. At least.
This may not be the toughest out-of-conference schedule in the nation, but it is much better than Iowa’s non-conference schedule last season, which is really all that matters.
Iowa should easily make the NCAA tournament in the 2013-14 season. If it doesn’t something is definitely wrong. This is a team that will have enough talent to finish in the top three of the Big Ten standings. You can’t say that about Iowa on a yearly basis.
Playing tough teams is one thing. Another is actually beating them. So although Iowa will actually be challenged this season before conference play starts, it needs to rack up the victories, especially against teams such as Xavier, Iowa State and Notre Dame. Wins in all three of those games would be pretty impressive.
The Hawkeyes seem to have learned their lesson from last year and as a result, they will be challenged multiple times in their non-conference schedule.