Okay, maybe I’m crazy. The Iowa Hawkeyes have played absolutely terrible of late, and as evidenced by being in one of the play-in games, the NCAA Tournament’s selection committee almost left them out of the field of 68.
Fortunately for Fran McCaffery and company, that wasn’t the case. The Hawkeyes will be featured in Wednesday night’s at-large play-in game against Tennessee. And while the Hawkeyes limped to the finish line of the regular season, losing six out of their past seven games, I’m strongly confident that come Wednesday night, they’re going to flip the switch.
Yep, that’s right. I like Iowa to go on a little run and beat Tennessee as well as UMass in what is now called the NCAA tourney’s “second round”.
Why? I’m not entirely sure to be honest. The Hawkeyes’ defensive struggles have been well documented. Oh, and so has their inability to consistently hit threes. Lately, it’s been a lot of Roy Devyn Marble, and little to none of everybody else. Make no mistake about it, though, this team is still exceptionally talented and fully capable of advancing far into the Big Dance.
You don’t get to be a top-10 team in the country if you’re not a very good team. Furthermore, you don’t smack an excellent Michigan team — albeit at home — if you’re not a very good team. Trust me, I’ve seen the Hawkeyes’ recent play. It’s rather alarming to say the least. Having said that, I just can’t help but feel like getting out of the rugged Big Ten is only going to do wonders for them.
When Iowa is playing well, they can run and score with any team in America. Tennessee will pose a very difficult matchup, but McCaffery’s bunch will step up and prevail.
Speaking of coach McCaffery, his 13-year-old son Patrick was recently diagnosed with a thyroid tumor. Patrick is set to have the tumor removed unfortunately and coincidentally on Wednesday night, the same day as the game. My thoughts and prayers go out to the McCaffery family, and I’m sure the Hawkeyes plan on doing everything they possibly can to win this game for “P-Mac”.
Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27