March Madness Bracketology 2024: What's at stake in Big Ten Tournament for the Iowa Hawkeyes?

Where do the Iowa Hawkeyes stand in the leadup to March Madness?
Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The 2023-24 season hasn't always been an easy one for the Iowa Hawkeyes. As of this writing, the Hawkeyes are 18-12, 10-9 in Big Ten play. But, their season isn't over just yet.

The Big Ten Tournament is just about to tip off. The games get started Wednesday, March 13th from the Target Arena in Minneapolis on Peacock. Iowa's tournament begins the next day, though their seed isn't finalized. All of those games air on the Big Ten Network or the FOX Sports App with a TV provider login.

The Big Ten Tournament is a huge opportunity for Iowa to right some early season wrongs and make their case for the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa is on the outside looking in, one of the first four teams out. In large part, this is because the Hawkeyes went 0-4 to start conference play this season. Losses to Penn State, Indiana and two losses to Maryland piled up while all of Iowa's wins were against bottom-tier conference opponents.

That all changed in late February, as the Hawkeyes stunned Wisconsin, winning three of their next four. Getting above .500 in conference play with wins over the Badgers and Northwestern, teams locked into the NCAA Tournament, was a massive boost.

Before the conference tournament starts, Iowa will play against No. 12 Illinois, on Sunday, March 10th at 6 p.m. on FOX Sports One. With a win, Iowa is likely a lock to make the tournament. With a loss, Iowa will have to impress in the Big Ten Tournament to sway the selection committee.

In all likelihood, the Hawkeyes will either be a six or seven seed in the Big Ten Tournament. This should give Iowa an opportunity to at least pick up a win against one of the lower-tier teams in the conference such as Rutgers or Ohio State. Of course, nothing is a given in these tournaments.

Getting past one of those teams is crucial if the Hawkeyes are relying on the tournament to make the Big Dance, though. That would then open the door to playing a team above them, such as Nebraska or Illinois. While Illinois is a lock, Nebraska is a team with a strong enough resume to be a solid second win for Iowa to impress the selection committee.

Iowa doesn't have to win the entire tournament, though it would certainly be a welcome occurance. However, reaching the semi-finals could be their ticket to enjoying more March Madness in 2024.

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