The Coaches Poll Can't Quit Iowa Basketball

By RossWB on January 8, 2019 at 6:30 am
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© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

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After Iowa was absolutely hamblasted by Purdue last Thursday, I didn't hold out much hope for them being ranked in the next set of polls. But they went and rebounded from that ugly loss with a nice home win over Nebraska on Sunday night. It certainly didn't hurt that Nebraska was ranked (#24) at the time of that win (they're no longer ranked after losing twice last week). 

So the new polls came out Monday and Iowa is... still ranked! By the Coaches Poll, at least. Iowa fell five spots in that poll from #20 to #25, but they're still in the Top 25. Iowa sits at #25 with 68 points, 19 points ahead of Wisconsin, the top team in the Others Receiving Votes category.

The AP Poll was not so kind, dumping Iowa out of the polls and ending their stay after seven weeks among the ranked elite. Iowa was already on thin ice with the AP Poll voters -- they were #25 last week -- so it doesn't exactly come as a shock that they got bounced after a 1-1 week where they were hammered in their loss. Iowa slipped to an unofficial #28 in the AP Poll, the third-highest team in the Others Receiving Votes category (behind Villanova and Wisconsin). 

To remain ranked in the Coaches Poll (and regain a ranking in the AP Poll), Iowa probably needs a 2-0 week -- which won't be easy. Iowa heads to Evanston to face Northwestern on Wednesday night and while the Wildcats aren't the fiercest of opponents on paper, they're pretty comparable to Iowa (Northwestern is ranked 11th in the Big Ten, per KenPom, and 51st overall, while Iowa is 10th in the Big Ten and 43rd overall). More importantly, Iowa will be on the road for that game and road games in the Big Ten have been a non-stop nightmare for Iowa over the last two seasons. Until they show they can at least compete in a Big Ten road game, it's tough to have much confidence in them prevailing away from Carver. If they do manage to knock off Northwestern on the road, though, a nerve-wracking home game with #16/17 Ohio State looms on Saturday afternoon. Iowa may need all the mojo they can wring out of CHA for that one. 

But for now we enjoy one more week among the ranked elites. Hopefully Iowa can keep the ride going a little bit longer. 

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