Iowa Basketball: Why the mid-major obsession with the Hawks?

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Most prominently on social media, teams like San Diego State and Dayton are drawing attention to the Iowa basketball team. Today, we ask why.

Everyone loves the underdog. If we, as a society did not, movies like Rudy would never have existed.

Of any sport out there, college basketball offers the best opportunity for an underdog to prove themselves. Teams like Butler and Gonzaga have come from underdog roots to become relative powerhouses in the sport.

Because of the ability within this sport for these teams to rise above a majority of the Power 5 schools, I do not understand why teams like Dayton and San Diego State have targeted Iowa basketball.

Let’s start with Dayton.

Yes, despite playing a total of two ranked teams this season and going 0-2 in those games, Dayton fans bring up a game between the two from five years ago.

For reference, Dayton and Iowa basketball were on the same court once, though they did not play each other. However, one team did win and one team did not.

The Dayton connection is almost certainly that Dayton, like Iowa basketball, has a John R. Wooden Award finalist playing for their respective team.

I won’t go into the details of why Luka Garza is having a better player. I’ll leave that to Jon Rothstein.

Let’s move now to San Diego State (SDSU). Iowa basketball did play SDSU. After beating Texas Tech in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, the Hawkeyes fell to San Diego State.

This was on November 29, 2019, when UNC was ranked in the top 10. Look, San Diego State is a good team, but Iowa basketball represents one of their three good wins this season.

In fact, SDSU fans know their team so well that they confused their 31-point win over Creighton, with their 10-win over Iowa. You don’t need reading comprehension or basic knowledge of mathematics to be a fan.

Still this one confuses me more. Dayton is at least fighting with Iowa for an individual award.

SDSU actually benefits from Iowa looking good. Your bad losses should never get anywhere close to outnumbering your good wins as a potential one seed, and their home loss against a very average UNLV team certainly doesn’t help that ratio.

It would be in their fans’ best interest to promote Iowa’s success to make their team look better. Logic, unfortunately has gone the way of reading comprehension and basic math.