Hawkeyes slip in polls after first Big Ten loss
Iowa's road loss at Maryland on Thursday changed the course of the Big Ten Conference race, and it also altered the national rankings.
The Hawkeyes fell to No. 7, down three spots, in Monday's latest USA TODAY Coaches Poll following a 74-68 loss in College Park, Md., and an 85-71 home rout over Northwestern. Iowa fared better in the Associated Press poll, dipping two spots to No. 5.
The coaches' poll, which is now used by The Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen, previously had Maryland at No. 7. The Terrapins rode wins over Iowa and Ohio State to a No. 3 ranking.
North Carolina and Oklahoma remained 1-2 in the coaches' rankings, but then the race from Nos. 3-8 really tightened up. A difference of only 63 polling points (a third-place vote, for example, is worth 23) separated Maryland, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas, Iowa and Texas A&M.
In the AP poll, Maryland jumped Iowa to No. 4 by only four polling points, with the Hawkeyes narrowly staying ahead of Xavier and way ahead of Kansas (which lost last week at Iowa State).
The Hawkeyes (17-4 overall, 8-1 in the Big Ten) face Penn State on Wednesday and travel to Illinois on Sunday.