Iowa Basketball : Hawks move up one spot in AP Top 25

(Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Iowa Hawkeyes moved up one spot in this week’s AP Top 25 polls to the #18 spot.

Iowa took care of all the business they could this week, with just one game against the 24th ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Iowa stormed back against Rutgers facing *essentially* a six-point halftime deficit (Fran McCaffery was given a technical after the clock had run out in the first half) and was able to win 85-80. Iowa has now won four straight games and is 14-5 on the season and 5-3 in conference play.

Luka Garza was exceptional, as Hawk fans have become accustomed to, with yet another 20+ point double-double, finishing with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Joe Weiskamp was his usual self with 18 points and was clutch down the stretch, hitting CJ Fredrick with a pass that led to a layup and then knocking down a three that electrified the Hawkeye faithful to retake the lead for the final time with 1:30 to play.

Personally, I thought Iowa would be ranked higher after back to back wins over ranked teams and having won four straight Big Ten games. But, it was a rare week in college basketball where the teams that were supposed to win… did? The entire top 7 stayed the same for the first time this year, and the only changes in the top 10 being Duke and Villanova trading places at the number eight and nine spots.

The important thing to remember is these rankings mean, at least in the long run, nothing. Yes, it’d be fun to see the Hawks ranked in the Top 15 or Top 10 and rise through the rankings. Yes, I wished the national media would look their resumes instead of the preconceived notions and preseason rankings of these teams. But in the end, it doesn’t matter.

If Iowa can avoid bad losses, win a big game or two they will certainly find themselves moving up the rankings. In the Big Ten, especially on the road, every game is a war. There are no cakewalks (I would love to be able to name drop Nebraska here but unfortunately we all remember how that game went). There are plenty of chances left to prove how good this Iowa team is and it all starts tonight with the always pesky Wisconsin Badgers.

Following the Badgers is a road trip to Maryland which provides a huge opportunity to send a message and then finally Illinois coming to Carver on Sunday afternoon. If Iowa is able to stave off the Badgers, prove it can win on the road in the Big Ten by beating Maryland and then beat the red-hot Illini it would be nearly impossible for the national media to not recognize that the Hawkeyes are legit.