Iowa - Why No Can Has Bubble?

Submitted by Fuzzy Dunlop on March 6th, 2013 at 3:20 PM

So Iowa is a home win against Nebraska away from 20 wins overall and a 9-9 record in the toughest conference in basketball, yet I haven't seen any brackets that even have them sniffing the bubble.  Am I the only one who finds this confusing?  I realize they have no marquee wins, one of their nonconference losses was pretty bad,  and (most important) their RPI is only 76.  But in years past a .500 record in the Big 10 and 19 or 20 wins got one in the tournament pretty comfortably, and the Big 10 is obviously much stronger this year than in the past.  I would at least think that they should show up on the bubble watch, no?



March 6th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

Agree.  But if they beat Nebraska and win one game in the B1G tourny I think they get in.  

Now...they probably won't STAY in long but they'll get in.


March 6th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

but I think there are two possible things going on, 1) they just don't pass the eyeball test, they are one thing on paper and then you see them play and you are like that is not a tournament team at all, 2) they will get in if they are .500 in the conference and win a BTT game and the people doing bracketology have made an oversight.  Number 2 has been known to happen on occassion but I think Iowa may fit more into the Number 1 category.


March 6th, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

Well hi Cooperlilly!  How's it feel to be a civilian again?

And I agree with BTW on the current silliness of the voiting.  Earlier today somebody went through a thread and downvoted every single post in it.  Under the old system you'd lose a LOT of precious points to be that indiscrimenatly negative.

Fuzzy Dunlop

March 6th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

I have no excuse for the title.  I knew it was dumb, thought it might earn me some unnecessary downvotes, thought real hard about it, and then went with it anyway. 

As Joel Goodson once noted, sometimes you just have to say what the f*ck.  Sure, he said it in the context of turning his home into a brothel and hooking up with Rebecca De Mornay on the L Train, and I used it in the context of making a moronic "I Can Has Cheezburger" reference in a post about Iowa basketball, but when you think about it are they really that different?


March 6th, 2013 at 6:03 PM ^

(or up vote, either) for the title, but when I read it I thought "Boy I am glad that the post aren't in audio, because it is annoying enough when I have to read comments written in that style."  I know humor is intended, but there has been so much of it on this blog that it isn't funny anymore (except maybe to a select few).

State Street

March 6th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

We were a road win against Penn State from playing for an outright Big Ten title.

I think this thread'll be more appropriate after the Nebrasketball game.

LS And Play

March 6th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

What I don't understand is what exactly makes Iowa State so much more deserving than Iowa? Iowa State is in most brackets (barely), and they really only have one good win vs. Kansas State. Iowa beat Iowa State, and they have some decent wins like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. 


March 6th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

The reason is that Iowa State is the 5th place Big 12 team while Iowa is the 8th place B1G team.  If you are sliding teams in off the bubble and you are comparing two major conference teams that have a pretty similar resume, I think you pick the one that adds more diversity.


snarling wolverine

March 6th, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

I'm not sure about that.  It's not unusual at all for one big six conference to have many more teams in the tourney than another.  Also, they've consistently said that they don't worry about how many teams from a certain conference get invited.


March 6th, 2013 at 4:51 PM ^

The tournament committee explicitly says they don't take conference affiliation into account. Now, I'm not sure that I believe them entirely, but I believe them enough to think that "we've got 7 from the Big 10 but only 4 from the Big 12, let's go with the Big 12 team," isn't the way the make decisions.


As for Iowa, they caught the Northwestern disease. One bad loss OOC. Poor OOC schedule. Achingly close to marquee wins in the conference (close losses to Indiana, MSU, @OSU, @UW) but didn't get them done.


March 6th, 2013 at 5:16 PM ^

....that a less deserved team should or will get in over Iowa because the committee wants equal representation, but when you have two teams with similar resumes, I think that a team that sits deep in it's conference standings is going to be the odd team out. 

I fully discalim that this is supposition, but I don't think it's all that far fetched.  The committee certainly looks at conference affiliation.  They specifically spread conference foes out across the bracket to minimize the potential for them to meet early in the tournament.  They certainly know how many teams on the board are from each conference.  If you are 8th place out of 12, you likely are going to need something special on your resume, more so than 5 out of 12, and Iowa doesn't have it.


March 6th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

...but there are articles here and there which list them as either "possibly in" or "possibly out", so they are certainly a bubble team of sorts in the eyes of some.

Jerry Palm, for example, has them as being on the outside looking in - (LINK). Perhaps one of the more damning things he mentions is the SOS, which is the lowest among the teams in the "Probably Out" category on his page, and the 3-8 record against the RPI Top 50.

The consensus seems to be that they would have to beat Nebraska and maybe get a good win in the conference tournament to get a crack at an at-large bid, at least from a random sampling of publications that have "Bubble Watch" features.



March 6th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

I don't think they get in without winning atleast 2 games in the Big Ten Tournament. They had a very weak non conference schedule and still managed a bad loss (Virginia tech). Though they will probably end up with 9 wins in conference they have no quality road wins and negate their solid wins at home (Wis, Minn, Ill) with bad losses (Neb, Pur). Now if they had pulled out a win in a couple of their close losses against Indiana, MSU, @ Wisc they would already be in the field.

EQ RC Blue

March 6th, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

...they're problem is they have taken one of the least impressive roard to .500 in the B1G -- no wins over UM, MSU, OSU, or IU.  They have home wins against Wiscy, Minny, and Illinois.  Out of conference they have one home win against ISU, but got spanked by VTech and Wich.  One more big win would do wonders for them. 

That being said, I think they are closer than some people think.  ISU's resume is pretty close, as you say.  (I think some people give them subconcious credit for the victory against KU that the refs may have messed up.)  If ISU loses to Okst, you may see them on about equal footing. 

Also a problem for Iowa -- if they end up in the 8-9 game, there's almost only downside - a win over PU wouldn't count for much (maybe they can get Ill or Minny though).  If they could win one against any of the top 5 B1G team, they'd likely be in for sure (assuming they beat Nebraska and win they're 8-9 game).  They're a great example of a team where one big win would completely change their outlook.

snarling wolverine

March 6th, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

Iowa's played a really weak league schedule, playing Michigan, MSU and I think Ohio only once apiece, so a 9-9 record isn't that impressive from that perspective.  They just really haven't done anything of note to make the committee take notice.  



March 6th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

Iowa (saying they beat Nebraska) checks in at 20-11 and 9-9 in the Big Ten. 

They have a 76 RPI and a 52 BPI.  Their strength of schedule is 115.

Iowa has quality wins over Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota (all at home). 

Here is what kills them in my opinion: LOSS at 102 PRI Nebraska, LOSS at 117 RPI Purdue, and LOSS at 155 RPI Virginia Tech.  I feel like if they hypothetically won two of those three games, they would be right on the bubble, probably making the "First Four" with a win in the Big Ten Tournament.  

Also their innability to win the close games hurt them.  Look these losses and the margins that they lost by: Indiana by 4, Michigan State by 3, Purdue by 3 (OT), Minnesota by 3, Wisconsin by 4 (2OT), Nebraska by 4. I think this tells the tale this season for Iowa, and they will ultimatly find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble.

But serously, they are going to win the NIT 


March 6th, 2013 at 4:56 PM ^

The loss at Nebraska really hurt their bubble chances. If they would have won that one and would win this weekend, then I think they would be in with a 1st round win in the BTT. But with that lose, they are going to have to win a couple in the BTT beating one of the top 5.

The loss basically sent them to the NIT.

I do think that if they would make it in, I would not want to be in a 5 v 12 matchup against them, but we don't have to worry about that.


March 6th, 2013 at 5:20 PM ^

In Iowa here, too.  As mentioned, the Nebraska loss really put a halt to the momentum the Hawks were building to get on the Bubble.  That game turned into a win would have put them at 10-8, obviously, and I think "In" for the tourney.  Now they're really playing catch-up.  Gottlieb (spelling?)(CBS Sports) is the only one I've seen/heard think Iowa is a team to make the tourney.  The numbers of 20 wins and 9-9 in the toughest conference, plus a hopeful first-round win in the BTT, would usually make for a shoe-in for the Tourney.

I'd really like to see them get in, so I'm hoping they get to Saturday in the BTT which would make things interesting come Sunday evening.


March 6th, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

The old idea of XX-XX record and X-X conference record automatically get you in the NCAA Tournament are long gone.  The old idea of 20 wins and a .500 record are more of just a general gauge to decide which teams are in the discussion.  Iowa has as many bad losses as they have good wins, which automatically raises some red flags.  Add in that they have been very questionable away from home and the question marks are even bigger.  If they can do something in the Big Ten Tournament, they might be in the discussion, but they would have to beat some good teams to do that.