A look at the best of Iowa’s new-look basketball team
Iowa (AP) A pair of newcomers to the Big Ten, a sophomore guard and a former high school player each make up a new-looking Iowa team.
They’re all freshmen and are expected to be a major part of the Hawkeyes’ success in a Big Ten-best 16-16 season.
The Hawkeyes are one of three unbeaten teams in the conference, and they look to become the first Iowa team since 1995-96 to win the conference tournament in back-to-back years.
They’ll play a team that is ranked No. 2 nationally by KenPom.com and No. 1 in the country by CBS Sports.
They were the only team in the NCAA tournament that didn’t win the tournament this season, a feat that will be repeated in a week when the Big East champions play No. 3 seed Michigan.
Iowa (1-0, 1-0) was the preseason favorite to win, but a loss to a No. 7 seed in Cincinnati on Saturday, a game that was widely viewed as a blowout in a game where the Hawkeye starters had played well all season, knocked them out of the playoff conversation.
Iowa coach Tom Crean said he thinks the Buckeyes have to figure out a way to beat Iowa and play better basketball than they did the last two games to win.
The Buckeyes, who are ranked No, 16 in KenPan.com’s preseason poll, were just one win away from becoming the first Big Ten team to lose the first two games of a Big 12 conference tournament since Texas A&M went 0-3 in 1993-94.
The Aggies, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, also are unbeaten.
The Hawkeyes have a game against Kansas State on Monday.
Iowa’s success was built on two of the Big 12’s best players, 6-foot-11 forward Marcus Stroman and 6-5 point guard Andrew Wiggins, who combined for 27 points and 10 rebounds.
They each have been the most consistent player on the Hawes’ squad.
Iowa has been ranked No-2 in Kenpan.