IOWA CITY — Iowa’s close losses and porous non-conference schedule cost the Hawkeyes a chance at the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.
The Hawkeyes (21-12) were left out the 68-team NCAA tournament field, which was announced Sunday afternoon. Later tonight Iowa will accept an NIT berth and likely open at home sometime early this week. ESPNU will air the NIT selection show at 8 p.m.
Iowa lost four Big Ten games in led in the final two minutes and dropped two others it had double-digit leads in the second half. Iowa finished 2-7 against Big Ten competition in games decided by four points or less.
“That’s the transition of this team from becoming a middle-of-the-road Big Ten to an elite program in this league and eventually in the country,” Iowa sophomore Aaron White said.
The Hawkeyes’ Ratings Performance Index (RPI) of 79 was 12 spots worse than any team to ever qualify for the NCAA tournament. RPI is based on your record, your opponents’ records and your opponents’ opponents’ records. Iowa scheduled five teams with an RPI worse than 300.
This will be Iowa’s seventh appearance in the NIT and second consecutive. The Hawkeyes were 1-1 last year, beating Dayton in the opener before losing at Oregon. Iowa’s all-time NIT record is 5-6.