Iowa Hawkeyes earn NIT bid, set to play Kansas State

The Iowa Hawkeyes had a disappointing end to their NCAA Tournament chase, but a chance at conselary prize awaits in the NIT.
Iowa v Minnesota
Iowa v Minnesota / David Berding/GettyImages

The Iowa Hawkeyes have been announced as the No. 3 seed in the 2024 National Invitation Tournament.

Despite winning four of their last six regular-season games with a strong push for an NCAA Tournament bid, losses to ranked Illinois and Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament knocked Iowa out of the March Madness conversation. Now the team will look for a consolation prize in the NIT.

Iowa is seeded in the bottom right bracket and will face the Kansas State Wildcats in round one. Kansas State finished their season 19-14, 9th in a Big 12 conference that sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats had notable wins over Kansas, BYU and Iowa State in the second half of the regular season. They also beat Texas, an NCAA Tournament selection, in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.

The Wildcats are led by Arthur Kaluma, a 6-foot-7 junior who poses a considerable threat under the basket. Kaluma averaged 14.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Tyler Porey, a 5-foot-11 guard, is also a strong player for K-State. He averaged 15.4 points and 4.4 assists per game this year.

The Hawkeyes were hot offensively outside of the Illinois and Ohio State games, scoring quickly with an outside-in approach. Payton Sandfort stepped up in a huge way, particularly with his three-point shooting. Unfortunately, when he was inconsistent, so were his teammates. His supporting cast, particularly Josh Dix and Tony Perkins will need to step up to make another deep run in the NIT.

The Hawkeyes end their four-season streak of making it to the NCAA Tournament and now head to the NIT for the fourth time during head coach Fran McCaffery's tenure. It's the first time the Hawkeyes have been in the NIT since the 2016-17 season. This is Iowa's ninth appearance in the NIT.

Iowa is 10-8 all-time in the NIT. In six of the program's previous appearances, the Hawkeyes advanced to the second round. In 2023, the team's third season under McCaffery, the Hawkeyes were the NIT runner-up, losing 74-54 to Baylor.

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