Iowa men's basketball team enters top 15 in three national rankings

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

By any measure, the Iowa men's basketball team is among the top 15 teams in the nation.

Three different ranking systems released Monday confirmed this. The Hawkeyes (5-0) moved up seven spots in the USA Today coaches' poll to No. 15. They moved up six spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press writers' poll.

And Iowa even landed at 15 in the initial release of the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET, which is replacing the RPI system this year and will be used to seed the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March. The system looks at strength of schedule and the quality of a team's wins and losses, among other factors.

Junior forward Tyler Cook and the Iowa men's basketball team are now ranked 15th in the USA Today coaches' poll after a 5-0 start.

It is the highest Iowa has been ranked this early in a season since the Hawkeyes were No. 7 on Nov. 26, 2001. It is the team's first 5-0 start in five years.

Iowa played only one game last week, a 105-78 home dismantling of Alabama State, But the Hawkeyes are still reaping the benefits of beating Oregon (now 21st in the coaches' poll) and Connecticut two weeks ago in the 2K Classic tournament.

Iowa hosts Pitt at 8 p.m. Tuesday and then begins Big Ten Conference play against two other ranked teams — vs. No. 22 Wisconsin on Friday and at No. 8 Michigan State next Monday.

More:Three Iowa women's basketball programs ranked in AP poll for first time since 1998