Dick Vitale predicts Iowa basketball will face Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament championship

Adam Hensley
Hawk Central

Shortly after winning the Big Ten Conference Tournament title, Iowa basketball finds itself in the national conversation... as a potential NCAA Tournament title contender.

The Hawkeyes earned a 5-seed in the Big Dance, will face 12-seed Richmond in the Round of 64 to open the tournament. Iowa's draw in the Midwest region is favorable, as Chad Leistikow writes, and national analysts agree.

Dick Vitale went one step further, believing Iowa will make it all the way to the 2022 NCAA Tournament championship. Vitale's bracket prediction features a Final Four of Gonzaga, Kentucky, Tennessee and Iowa. In that projection, Vitale has Iowa and Kentucky advancing, but he believes Kentucky will come out on top in the title game.

More:Selection Sunday: Iowa basketball draws 5-seed, matchup with Richmond in Midwest Regional

But Vitale wasn't the only college basketball analyst high on the Hawkeyes.

Clark Kellogg thinks Iowa basketball is a Final Four team

CBS Sports analyst Clark Kellogg thinks the Hawkeyes are for real. So much so that he included the Big Ten Conference tournament champions in his Final Four prediction.

During the Selection Sunday show, CBS' analysts gave their Final Four projections. Seth Davis went first, eyeing Gonzaga, Arizona, Kentucky and Wisconsin as his Final Four group. Kellogg went with that same group, except he swapped out the Badgers and opted for the Hawkeyes.

"I went with my sleeper outside of the top four seeds, the Iowa Hawkeyes," Kellogg said.

Kellogg's prediction included a Gonzaga championship against Arizona.

More:Leistikow: A true team effort delivers Iowa basketball's first Big Ten Tournament title in 16 years

It's been quite the afternoon for the Hawkeyes, who won their first Big Ten Conference Tournament title since 2006. Iowa took down Purdue 75-66, winning its fourth game of the tournament. Keegan Murray scored a team-high 19 points in the win, but it was a team effort all around; Tony Perkins and Payton Sandfort scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, and three other Hawkeyes scored at least six points.

Read more about Iowa basketball in the Big Ten Tournament

Adam Hensley is a digital producer with the USA Today Network. You can follow him on Twitter @A_Hens83 or reach him at ahensley@gannett.com.