With five games remaining for the Iowa basketball team, here is our prediction for how the Hawkeyes will fare in each of those contests.
Sitting at 20-6, the Iowa basketball team is basically guaranteed to be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons, but with five games still remaining, they have an opportunity to improve upon their projected six seed. All they need to do is win.
Winning, however, won’t be easy. No game in the Big Ten is easy, and the Iowa basketball team only has two of their next five at home making the next five games even more daunting. Tonight they take on Indiana at Carver-Hawkeye Arena before heading to Columbus to face the Ohio State Buckeyes. They then come back to Carver for a rematch against Rutgers before finishing the season out with road games in Madison and Lincoln.
According to KenPom, the Hawks are projected to go 2-3 in their next five games, losing all three road matchups. I am here to tell you though that I don’t expect that to be the case. Here’s my breakdown of how I see each game going.
Tonight – Iowa vs Indiana
- I fully expect the Iowa basketball team to win the game tonight and so does Las Vegas. According to oddsshark.com, the Hawks are favored by 6.5 points in their rematch against the Hoosiers.
- Prediction: Hawks win!
2/26 – Iowa @ Ohio State
- Ohio State may not be the team that they appeared to be earlier in the season, but they are still a projected NCAA Tournament team at 17-9. Despite their record, they are currently ranked 34th in adjusted efficiency margin. I have this weird feeling that Fran McCaffery’s squad is going to lay an egg here.
- Prediction: Ohio State wins/
3/2 – Iowa vs Rutgers
- Rutgers actually scares me even though according to analytics, this is the easiest game left on Iowa’s schedule. KenPom gives the Hawks an 83% chance of winning this game. Rutgers’ size and length were very tough for Iowa this past week though, and if it wasn’t for a miraculous shot by Joe Wieskamp, the Hawkeyes would have lost. Iowa is a much more talented team though.
- Prediction: Hawks win!
3/7 – Iowa @ Wisconsin
- This is without a doubt the toughest road test the Iowa basketball team has left this season. Since 2000, the Hawks have played 14 games in Madison, and they have come away victorious just twice. However, this is just one of those games where I feel like Iowa’s going to want revenge for Wisconsin’s early season defeat of the Hawks in Iowa City this December.
- Prediction: Hawks win a close game!
3/10 – Iowa @ Nebraska
- I went back and forth on this one because shockingly Nebraska is a tough place for away teams to play. In fact, earlier in the season, I had Nebraska as the fifth toughest game remaining on Iowa’s schedule. That, however, was before Nebraska lost senior Isaac Copeland Jr and proceeded to lost 8 of the last 10 games.
- Prediction: Hawks finish season strong with a win.
Going 4-1 may be lofty expectations, but I truly think Iowa can make it happen.
A 4-1 finish would put the Hawks at 24-7, which would be an incredible regular season especially compared to what we expected heading into this season.