SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month. Save 90%
SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month. Save 90%

Iowa men match highest USA TODAY ranking of season ahead of showdown week in Big Ten

Danny Lawhon
Hawk Central

One big game resulted in one relatively big week for the Iowa men's basketball team, with an even bigger week set to come.

Last Thursday's start-to-finish, 85-76 handling of a ranked Ohio State squad was the only new evidence for Fran McCaffery's Hawkeyes, and the positive performance was enough to push Iowa to match its highest ranking of the season.

The Hawkeyes bumped up to 17th in Monday's USA TODAY Coaches' Poll, the third time Iowa (19-8, 10-6 Big Ten) has been in that spot in the past four weeks.

With CJ Fredrick's health improving, they certainly could have their chance to crack that particular ceiling and move squarely into the top-four seed discussion in NCAA Tournament circles this week. Two more difficult tests await with teams in that 10-6 league logjam: first at No. 24 Michigan State (18-9 overall) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and then hosting No. 14 Penn State (20-7) at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Iowa is up two spots to 18th in the latest Associated Press poll, also released Monday. Kansas, off its 64-61 win at previous No. 1 Baylor, has ascended to the top spot in both sets of rankings.

Maryland remains the lone Big Ten squad in the top 10 (eighth by the coaches, ninth by The AP).

USA TODAY COACHES' POLL

  • 1. Kansas (24-3) [30 first-place votes], 798 points
  • 2. Baylor (24-2) [2], 760
  • 3. Dayton (25-2), 723
  • 4. Gonzaga (27-2), 704
  • 5. San Diego State (26-1), 631
  • 6. Florida State (23-4), 597
  • 7. Duke (23-4), 579
  • 8. Maryland (22-5), 553
  • 9. Kentucky (22-5), 543
  • 10. Louisville (23-5), 531
  • 11. Creighton (22-6), 462
  • 12. Villanova (21-6), 449
  • 13. Seton Hall (20-7), 423
  • 14. Penn State (20-7), 318
  • 15. Auburn (23-4), 316
  • 16.Oregon (21-7), 276
  • 17. Iowa (19-8), 264
  • 18. BYU (23-7), 240
  • 19. West Virginia (19-8), 194
  • 20. Colorado (21-7), 155
  • 21. Texas Tech (18-9), 153
  • 22. Michigan (18-9), 139
  • 23. Ohio State (18-9), 132
  • T24. Michigan State (18-9), 118
  • T24. Arizona (19-8), 118

Dropped out: No. 19 Marquette; No. 22 Houston; No. 23 Butler.

Others receiving votes: Houston 58; Butler 48; Arizona State 27; Illinois 25; Marquette 19; Virginia 13; Louisiana State 12; St. Mary's 7; East Tennessee St. 6; Wisconsin 3; Stephen F. Austin 3; Northern Iowa 3.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25

  1. Kansas (24-3) [62], 1,598
  2. Baylor (24-2) [2], 1,532
  3. Gonzaga (27-2), 1,442
  4. Dayton (25-2), 1,413
  5. San Diego State (26-1), 1,287
  6. Florida State (23-4), 1,247
  7. Duke (23-4), 1,186
  8. Kentucky (22-5), 1,130
  9. Maryland (22-5), 1,124
  10. Creighton (22-6), 986
  11. Louisville (23-5), 966
  12. Villanova (21-6), 928
  13. Seton Hall (2-07), 842
  14. Oregon (21-7), 653
  15. Auburn (23-4), 643
  16. Penn State (20-7), 618
  17. BYU (23-7), 598
  18. Iowa (19-8), 489
  19. Michigan (18-9), 329
  20. West Virginia (19-8), 313
  21. Colorado (21-7), 291
  22. Texas Tech (18-9), 226
  23. Ohio State (18-9), 210
  24. Michigan State (18-9), 160
  25. Houston (21-7), 102

Others receiving votes: Arizona State 95, Illinois 82, Arizona 71, Butler 51, Virginia 50, Marquette 41, Stephen F. Austin 29, LSU 24, East Tennessee State 13, Utah State 9, Florida 8, Wisconsin 7, New Mexico State 2, Northern Iowa 2, Liberty 2, UCLA 1

Danny Lawhon works across the Register’s sports department, from editing, social media and sports wagering to bowls, brackets and data dives. Reach him at dlawhon@registermedia.com or follow @DannyLawhon on Twitter.