What is the Iowa Hawkeye's longest streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances?

With a solid history in the NCAA Tournament, what is the longest stretch of success in program history?
Ohio State v Iowa
Ohio State v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

The NCAA Tournament is one of the most fantastic events in all of sports and just being a part of the event is an accomplishment all its own. Iowa has been apart of March Madness 29 times in program history and has yet to win the whole thing, reaching the finals once all the way back in 1956.

That speaks to the difficulty of not only advancing through the field of 64, but in reaching that field in the first place. Iowa has had some insane talent over the years and a few formidable teams that have made a lasting impact on the basketball program.

In the present day, Iowa is on a strong stretch of success, but does it stack up to those teams from yesteryear? The answer rests on an unfortunate "almost" as a technicality holds back the 2023-24 Hawkeyes from making history.

As it stands, the longest stretch of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament has been achieved on two occasions for the Iowa basketball program. On both occasions, the Hawkeyes reached the NCAA Tournament five consecutive times.

The first was from 1979 to 1983 under head coach Lute Olsen. Twice in this stretch, 1979 and 1981, the Hawkeyes were unceremoniosuly ousted in the first round. However, between those two disappointing seasons, the Hawkeyes reached the Final Four for just the third time in program history.

The second five year stretch was from 1985 to 1989. This stretch was shared between coaches George Raveling and Tom Davis. Raveling left for USC after the 1986 season ended in the first round, the second straight oucome. Davis took over and led the Hawkeyes to the Elite Eight with Brad Lohaus, B. J. Armstrong, Ed Horton, Kevin Gamble, Bill Jones and Roy Marble on his roster, all of which went on to NBA careers.

That brings us to the present day where Fran McCaffery's squad is technically looking for its fifth-straight appearance. Should the 2023-24 Hawkeyes make the Big Dance, it would be the fifth time in six years. The caveat is that had the 2020 pandemic not disrupted the NCAA Tournament that year, the Hawkeyes would have made the tournament. If that were the case, today's Hawkeyes would be playing to make history with a sixth-straight appearance.

Still, it could be a matter of perspective. Either way, McCaffrey's run with the Hawkeyes has been nothing short of a success, especially in recent years.

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