NCAA Tournament seeds, brackets out for Iowa, ISU, UNI
Let the Madness begin.
And this March has the chance to be especially exciting for the state of Iowa, with Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa all in the NCAA Tournament together for the first time since 2005.
As the bracket draws are announced for the Hawkeyes, Cyclones and Panthers, we'll update this space with quick details on each team's fate before linking you to full coverage of each school.
And check back this evening when our contest module is ready to enter your selections for a chance to take home prizes.
Tipoff times for Thursday's and Friday's games will not be determined until late Sunday.
5:24 P.M. IOWA STATE: No. 3, SOUTH REGION
AMES, Ia. – Solidly in its fourth NCAA Tournament in a row throughout the season, the only question surrounding 13th-ranked Iowa State dealt with particulars that were cleared up Sunday when the Selection Committee revealed the brackets.
Coach Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones (25-8) are seeded No. 3, and will face 14th-seeded Alabama-Birmingham in the South Region on Thursday in Louisville.
FIVE THINGS: What you should know about Iowa State basketball
If victorious, they'll take on either No. 6 seed Southern Methodist or No. 11 seed UCLA on Saturday.
"Our schedule definitely helped us for what's upcoming, not only the non-conference schedule, but what we've gone through the last couple weeks," Hoiberg said. "You play so many different styles over the course of a season -- we'rea pretty confident team right now."
Iowa State enters its 18th NCAA Tournament on the heels of its second Big 12 Conference tournament title in a row after beating Kansas 70-66 on Saturday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
A season ago, the third-seeded Cyclones advanced to the Sweet 16 in Madison Square Garden, where they lost against eventual NCAA Tournament champion Connecticut.
-- Randy Peterson
5:23 P.M. IOWA: No. 7, SOUTH REGION
IOWA CITY, Ia. -- Iowa is headed to the Pacific Northwest in its return to the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawkeyes (21-11) drew a No. 7 seed in the South Region and will face No. 10 seed Davidson (24-8) on Friday in Seattle.
The winner would face either second-seeded Gonzaga or No. 15 seed North Dakota State on Sunday.
FIVE THINGS: What you should know about Iowa basketball
Davidson won the Atlantic-10 regular season championship with a 14-4 record; Iowa finished in a tie for third in the Big Ten Conference.
If Iowa can win two games, the Sweet 16 in the South takes place in Houston.
For the first time since 2006, Iowa fans were breathing easily on Selection Sunday – thanks to a 7-3 road record that included a win Dec. 3 at North Carolina. A year ago, Iowa got in for the first time in eight years but in the Dayton First Four – where it couldn't get to the traditional 64-team tournament by losing in overtime to Tennessee.
The only drama was in where the Hawkeyes would be seeded after Thursday's stunning exit in their Big Ten Tournament opener against 13th-seeded Penn State. The Hawkeyes (21-11) wound up with wins over seven NCAA Tournament teams – Ohio State (twice), Maryland, Indiana, Hampton, North Carolina, North Dakota State and North Florida.
-- Chad Leistikow
5:12 P.M.: NORTHERN IOWA, No. 5, EAST REGION
CEDAR FALLS, Ia. – The Northern Iowa men's basketball team finally knows where it'll be dancing.
When NCAA Tournament pairings were announced Sunday, the 10th-ranked Panthers (30-3) landed in Seattle as the East Region's No. 5 seed for a second-round matchup against No. 12 Wyoming on Friday.
The winner will face either No. 4 seed Louisville or No. 13 seed UC-Irvine on Sunday.
FIVE THINGS: What you should know about UNI basketball
It'll be Northern Iowa's seventh overall appearance in "the Big Dance," and third under coach Ben Jacobson.
The Panthers own a 3-6 record in the NCAAs, but the successes have been memorable. In 1990, Maurice Newby's buzzer-beater stunned third-seed Missouri.
In 2010, Ali Farokhmanesh's long-range shooting punctuated victories over UNLV and No. 1 Kansas.
This time, it'll be Northern Iowa in the favorite's role.
The Panthers have been a fixture in The Associated Press' poll most of the season, matching a school record for wins in a season and securing an automatic bid to the NCAAs last week by winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
-- Andrew Logue