Here are Iowa basketball's NCAA Tournament resume and bracket projections

Travis Hines
Des Moines Register

After riding the good-vibes wave of two huge victories, the Iowa men’s basketball team ended its regular season with a damaging thud Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

The Hawkeyes’ 81-77 loss to Nebraska cost them dearly in Big Ten Tournament seeding and may have dropped them an entire seed line with the NCAA Tournament selection committee convening this weekend. 

Iowa missed out on the double-bye in Chicago and fell from 33 to 37 in the NET rankings by virtue of its loss to the Huskers as 11-point favorites. 

Despite the sour way the regular season ended, though, the Hawkeyes have already put in the work and will go to the United Center as a lock for the Big Dance and with a chance to undo some of the Nebraska damage with a big week. 

Still, the loss to the Huskers means there’s more danger ahead this week than the Hawkeyes would like to see. 

Here’s how things stand. 

More:Iowa men's basketball loses regular-season finale to Nebraska, finishes fifth in Big Ten

The resume ahead of the NCAA Tournament

  • NET ranking: 37 
  • KenPom: 35 
  • Torvik: 38 
  • Quad 1 record: 6-7 
  • Quad 2: 7-2 
  • Quad 3: 1-2 
  • Quad 4: 5-1 

Iowa basketball's NCAA Tournament projections 

  • ESPN: No. 7 
  • CBS: No. 9 

What Iowa basketball's NCAA projections mean

One of the biggest issues with Iowa’s loss to Nebraska is the quality of opponent the Hawkeyes will see initially in the Big Ten Tournament will drop significantly. 

That may make wins easier to come by, but it will also make a loss actually hurt rather than just be a neutral affair. 

Iowa will draw either Ohio State or Wisconsin on Thursday, with the Badgers right on the bubble and the Buckeyes nowhere near it. The Hawkeyes are a combined 1-3 against the two schools, so it’s certainly not an ideal situation when a win probably doesn’t help much and a loss could push you down the S-curve. 

If the Hawkeyes are able to advance to the quarterfinals, Michigan State awaits and presents more of an upside situation as a Quad 1 game. Purdue would be the heavy hitter in the semis that Iowa would really be able to move the needle against. 

Iowa currently finds itself in that difficult 7-9 range, where it will likely face a solid first-round opponent with a No. 1 or No. 2 seed lurking in Round 2. That’s a tough spot to be, and it appears like it will take a run into the weekend for Iowa to have a shot at escaping it.  

Travis Hines covers Iowa State University sports for the Des Moines Register and Ames Tribune. Contact him at or  (515) 284-8000. Follow him at @TravisHines21.