Iowa is in a pretty good slot at the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament for a team that went 9-9 in league play.
The Hawkeyes are the No. 6-seed, and open play in the tourney Thursday night against Northwestern.
The No. 6-seeds have won games in all of the 15 previous Big Ten tourneys but one, that in 1999.
Sixth-seeds have an overall record of 26-14, which is pretty terrific. That’s second in winning percentage only to No. 1-seeds (27-8) and No. 2-seeds (22-10). I count the games that were vacated because of NCAA sanctions, so don’t throw that at me. The games were played, the results were recorded.
No. 6-seeds have played the 11th-seeds in each of the tourneys, so they’ve had some help from that. The 6th-seeds have won 14 of those 15 games. But when 3-seeds have met 6-seeds in the quarterfinals, the lower-seed has won 8 of the 14 meetings.
That’s not all. The No. 6-seed (Iowa) won the whole shooting match in 2001, taking four wins in four games. In 2010 and 2011, sixth-seeds Minnesota and Penn State, respectively, won three times to reach the league’s title-game. Sixth-seeds have produced the tourney runner-up as often as any other seed, and only the 1 and 2 seeds have had more finalists.
Here are the records of the seeds. Again, all vacated games count in my records, and wouldn’t have greatly influenced these numbers, anyway.
No. 1: 27-8, 7 titles
No. 2: 22-10, 5 titles
No. 3: 11-14, 1 title
No. 4: 12-14, 1 title
No. 5: 9-15, 0 titles
No. 6: 26-14, 1 title
No. 7: 10-15, 0 titles
No. 8: 15-15, 0 titles
No. 9: 6-15, 0 titles
No. 10: 10-15, 0 titles
No. 11: 3-15, 0 titles
No. 12: 0-1, 0 titles
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