It's a horse you could beat into the ground pretty easily, and I guess I am. Iowa's nonconference basketball schedule wasn't just lackluster, it was lousy.
But the Hawkeyes did play as many future NCAA tournament teams in the nonconference (3) as Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota, and as many future postseason teams (5) as Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State.
Still, a lot of flotsam and jetsam visited Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The eight teams Iowa faced that didn't go to the postseason had a combined record of 65-169 record against Division I competition. That's an average of 21 losses per team, and that's where Iowa's RPI plunged. Had a few of those teams simply been more competitive, well, who knows? It might not have gotten Iowa into the NCAAs, but it would have made the discussion even more interesting.
Ah well. Maybe next year.
Here is the rundown of the nonconference teams Big Ten clubs faced who are playing ball this week in either the NCAA tourney, the NIT, the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) or the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT):
NCAA: Western Kentucky, Wichita State, Iowa State
CIT: Gardner-Webb, Northern Iowa
NCAA: Gonzaga, Butler, Missouri
NIT: Norfolk State
CIT: Hawaii, Gardner-Webb, Eastern Kentucky
NCAA: Georgetown, North Carolina, Butler
CBI: Bryant, North Dakota State
NCAA: Pittsburgh, Kansas State
CBI: Western Michigan
Michigan State (5)
NCAA: Kansas, Boise State, Miami
NCAA: Duke, Memphis, South Dakota State
NIT: Stanford, Florida State
CBI: Richmond, North Dakota State
CIT: Tennessee State
NCAA: Creighton, Southern, Valparaiso, Oregon
CIT: Tulane, Kent State
NIT: Maryland, Baylor, Stanford
Ohio State (7)
NCAA: Albany, Duke, Kansas
NIT: Washington, Long Beach State
CIT: Savannah State, Chicago State (Note: Chicago State is in the CIT with an 11-21 record by virtue of being the Great West Conference champion. There will be a pep rally at Chicago State's campus before the team leaves campus to travel from Chicago State to Illinois-Chicago.)
Penn State (5)
NCAA: Bucknell, North Carolina State, LaSalle, Akron
NCAA: Bucknell, Villanova, Notre Dame
NCAA: Florida, Creighton, California, Marquette
NIT: Arkansas, Virginia
CIT: Green Bay
These teams aren't going to postseason tourneys, but probably could have. Except for Connecticut, which is on NCAA probation.
Connecticut (20-10): Played Michigan State
Illinois State (18-15): Played Northwestern
Georgia Tech (16-15): Played IllinoisXavier (17-14): Played Purdue