Fran McCaffery and his #24 Iowa Hawkeyes are likely in the NCAA Tournament. They will fall out of the polls, deservedly, after losing a Senior Night game in which they were favored by 12. But I still think they’re good to go dancing even if they get knocked out of the first round of the Big Ten Tournament this week.
The Hawkeyes lost in dramatic fashion to an Illinois Fighting Illini team that has been playing very well down the stretch, winning four of their last five. Jon Ekey, or “3Key,” broke their hearts with a last second triple. And in the postgame media session, Fran McCaffery got a NCAA Tourney bubble question.
Q. “Do you think you’re in the tournament?”
Fran McCaffery: “I don’t know. I’m not Joe Lunardi.”
That’s the power of the World Wide Leader, Fran McCaffery didn’t say “I don’t know, I’m not a bracketologist,” or “I’m not the selection committee.” No, he dropped the Lunardi name.
Let’s do some bracketology. Iowa has a RPI of 33 with a SoS of 23. Their record vs. the RPI top 50 is 5-9. Signature wins include: Michigan, Xavier, Ohio State and Minnesota. No real bad losses, the Hoosiers defeat is their worst blemish.
I think Fran McCaffery is safely in the field of 68. However, he comes in skidding, on a wretched 1-5 stretch. And playing some bad defense. D has been an issue all year for the Hawkeyes and it’s rearing its ugly head at the worst time.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks