IOWA CITY -- Despite a late-season swoon, the Iowa men's basketball team earned its first NCAA tournament berth in eight seasons Sunday night.
The Hawkeyes (20-12) will play Tennessee (21-12) in an NCAA first-round play-in game in Dayton at 8:10 p.m. (CT) Wednesday. Should Iowa win, it will travel to Raleigh, N.C. for a Friday game against sixth-seeded UMass.
The bid was Iowa's 23rd all-time but first since 2006, when the Hawkeyes were a three seed. The Hawkeyes boast a 27-24 NCAA tournament record but have not won an NCAA tournament game since March 15, 2001.
This marks the sixth NCAA tournament appearance for Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery. This is the fourth program he has guided to the NCAA tournament; he previously took Lehigh (1987-88), North Carolina-Greensboro (2000-01) and Siena (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) to the tournament. McCaffery owns a 2-5 NCAA tournament record. His Siena teams beat Vanderbilt and Ohio State in consecutive opening-round games.McCaffery is one of 12 coaches to take at least four different schools to the NCAA tournament. Joining McCaffery this year are Coastal Carolina's Cliff Ellis and UCLA's Steve Alford. Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger is the only coach to take five schools to the tournament.