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Iowa heads to Brooklyn for NCAA Tournament as No. 7 seed

Chad Leistikow
cleistik@dmreg.com
The Iowa Hawkeyes react as their name is called during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show Sunday on March 13 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Seventh-seeded Iowa plays No. 10 Temple on Friday in Brooklyn, New York.

IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Hawkeyes are headed to The Big Apple.

Iowa was one of the first teams to learn their face during Sunday's Selection Show on CBS, and it saw a No. 7 in front of its name in the South Region. The Hawkeyes will face 10th-seeded Temple on Friday at a time to be announced at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Should the Hawkeyes win, they would face the winner of No. 2-seeded Villanova vs. No. 15 UNC-Asheville on Sunday.

Temple (21-11) was the regular-season champion of the American Athletic Conference.

“It’s nice to get in the tournament," Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff said Sunday night. "We’ve got a job to do to try to win it. So I’m excited.”

It was just over a month ago that the Hawkeyes were 10-1 in Big Ten Conference play and a projected No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but with losses in six of their last eight games they’ll have to win a virtual toss-up then probably pull an upset to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 17 seasons.

After Iowa’s first-game exit Thursday to 12th-seeded Illinois at the Big Ten tournament, all-American Uthoff professed that this team could still make a national-championship run, saying the first 31 games — in which Iowa compiled a 21-10 record — was just the warmup act to the legacy-defining game(s) ahead.

“We’ll be ready to go,” senior teammate Mike Gesell said. “We know we’re one of the best teams in the country.”

Moments of Madness: Dr. Tom's final run at Iowa

The Hawkeyes have earned three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, the first time that’s happened since Tom Davis’ teams from 1991 to 1993.

In 2014, No. 11-seeded Iowa was in the “First Four” in Dayton, Ohio, and lost in overtime to Tennessee.

Last season, No. 7-seeded Iowa went to Seattle and thumped Davidson in the first round — its first NCAA Tournament win as a program since 2001 — before bowing out two nights against Gonzaga.

NCAA Tournament bracket central