Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI All Headed to NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
The brackets are out and, as expected, three of Iowa's four in-state schools are going dancing in March. Here're the details on who, when, and where they play.
Iowa's late-season struggles definitely hurt the Hawkeyes seed and where they play. The Hawks will travel east to Brooklyn, New York to take on Temple in a first-round game. The 21-11 Owls are the #10 seed in the south while the Hawkeyes are the #7 seed. The game will tip-off at approximately 2:10 p.m. (Iowa time) Friday and will be televised by truTV. A win and Iowa would take on the winner of #2 seed Villanova and #15 North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.
CBS-TV analyst Clark Kellogg was quick to predict an Iowa trip to the Sweet 16. He forecasts Iowa to beat both Temple and Villanova in the tourney's opening weekend.
There should be plenty of Iowa fans in New York next weekend. The NCAA Wrestling Championships will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City Thursday through Saturday.
This marks Iowa's third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. It's the first time the Hawkeyes have qualified for the tourney in back-to-back-to-back years since 1991-93.
The Iowa State Cyclones are the #4 seed in the Midwest region. The Cyclones will take on #13 Iona Thursday at 1 p.m. (Iowa time) in Denver, Colorado. The game will be televised by TBS. The 21-11 Cyclones are making their fifth consecutive trip to the tournament.
The Gaels are 22-10 on the season and received an automatic bid after defeating Monmouth in the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Championship game on Monday. It's Iona's first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2006.
A victory would pit Iowa State against the winner of #5 Purdue and #12 Little Rock on Saturday.
The Northern Iowa Panthers are the #11 seed in the west region. The Panthers will take on #6 Texas Friday in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The game will tip-off at approximately 8:50 p.m. (Iowa time) and be televised by TBS. Texas is 20-12 on the season while the Panthers are 22-12. UNI received an automatic bid after winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. It's the Panthers second straight tourney trip.
Some will say the Panthers seed is too high. Those people may have forgotten UNI beat #1 seed North Carolina earlier in the year, along with Iowa State, Wichita State twice, and gave Evansville three of their nine losses this season.
A UNI victory would mean a Sunday game against the winner of the game between #3 Texas A&M and #14 Green Bay on Sunday.
Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines will host first-round games in the South and East regionals Thursday. #1 seed Kansas takes on #16 seed Austin Peay while the other south region game features #8 Colorado against #9 Connecticut.
The East regional games Thursday in Des Moines will feature #5 Indiana versus #12 Chattanooga and #4 Kentucky will do battle with #13 Stony Brook.
Buckle up. Tourney time is here and for a sports fan, it doesn't get any better than this.
[via CBS-TV, Iowa, Iowa State, UNI Basketball, and NCAA.com]