(If this post seems vaguely familiar to one I did 364 days ago, there's a good reason for that.)
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 16 previous Big Ten tourneys but one, that in 1999.
Sixth-seeds have an overall record of 27-15, which is pretty terrific. That’s second in winning percentage only to No. 1-seeds (28-9) and No. 2-seeds (25-10). 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 15 of those 16 games. But when 3-seeds have met 6-seeds in the quarterfinals, the lower-seed has won 8 of the 15 meetings.
That’s not all. The No. 6-seed (Iowa) won the whole shooting match in 2001, taking four wins in four games. You think the 2014 Hawkeyes are wobbly with five losses in their last six games? The '01 Hawkeyes dropped seven of their final eight regular-season contests.
In 2010 and 2011, sixth-seeds Minnesota and Penn State, respectively, won three times to reach the league’s title-game.
Of course, there's another way to look at this. No. 1 seeds have won five of the last seven Big Ten tourneys, and no team lower than a 3-seed has won one since Iowa in '01.
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: 28-9, 7 titles
No. 2: 25-10, 6 titles
No. 3: 12-15, 1 title
No. 4: 14-15, 1 title
No. 5: 10-16, 0 titles
No. 6: 27-15, 1 title
No. 7: 10-16, 0 titles
No. 8: 16-16, 0 titles
No. 9: 6-16, 0 titles
No. 10: 11-16, 0 titles
No. 11: 3-16, 0 titles
No. 12: 0-2, 0 titles