Fresh off a Big Ten Tournament Championship (WOOOOOOO), Iowa found out their NCAA Tournament fate as the bracket for the 2022 NCAA Tournament was revealed. After four wins in four days, Iowa was slotted as a 5-seed in the Midwest Region. They're set to play 12-seed Richmond in the first round on Thursday. Tip-off time is set for approximately 2:10 PM CT, with TV coverage from TruTV.
If Iowa beats Richmond, they'll face the winner of Providence/South Dakota State in the 4/13 game on Saturday. Game times are TBA, but all those three games (Iowa/Richmond, Providence/SDSU, and the winners of the 5/12 and 4/13 games) will be played in Buffalo, NY. That's a hike for the Hawkeyes, but if they can navigate those two games, the regional semifinal and final games in the Midwest Region are in Chicago this year... just sayin'.
The five-seed suggests that the outcome of today's game with Purdue was pretty much irrelevant to the seeding process. That's not surprising or unusual; it's really just the peril of playing that game game so late in the bracket-making process. The Selection Show takes place right after the Big Ten Tournament final on CBS; there's just not much time to make changes to the bracket based on what happens in that final game.
As for Iowa's draw itself... it seems pretty good, on paper. Richmond (23-12, 10-8 A10) isn't one of the sexy upset pick 12-seeds; they're actually a bid thief, having upset Davidson in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament final earlier today. They needed to win that game to even make the NCAA Tournament field. They're 83rd in the KenPom rankings, and ranked 68th in offensive efficiency and 104th in defensive efficiency. We'll have much more on Richmond and this game over the next few days.
And not to overlook the Spiders, but the 4/13 matchup is also one that seems friendly for Iowa, at least on paper. Providence in the second-lowest ranked four-seed in the field per the selection committee's rankings (only Arkansas was lower-ranked among four-seeds) and by far the lowest ranked four-seed based on the KenPom rankings: UCLA (#8), Illinois (#17), Arkansas (#20), Providence (#49). Their record (25-5) is very impressive and they've won a lot of close games this year, but they're certainly not the most fearsome four-seed that Iowa could have been paired up with. They could have their hands full with a high-powered South Dakota State team that went 30-4 this year and has the nation's 12th most efficient offense (as well as the, uh, 220th most efficient defense).
But we'll have more to say about all of those teams -- and the rest of the region and the bracket -- in a little bit. For now Iowa is dancing again, with their highest seed since 2006, when they were a three-seed. Let's keep the ride going, Hawkeyes.