Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
So much for that at-large berth, Iowa.
Nebraska 64 Iowa 60
All season long Iowa has ranked higher in our Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings than they seemed to deserve because, statistically, the Hawkeyes have been a good team. And while Iowa hasn't been a great team by any means, Iowa fans had legit hopes of getting into the NCAA tournament this season.
Of course, what was holding Iowa back in the eyes of many pundits was the fact that it did not have a signature win. Wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota are nice, but they're not the stuff at-large berths are made of either. The Hawkeyes have also played the easiest schedule in the Big Ten according to Ken Pomeroy -- though it's a respectable 77th overall thanks to playing in the Big Ten -- which is partially responsible for the lack of wins.
Still, in spite of all this, had the Hawkeyes finished the year strong and maybe won a game in the Big Ten Tournament, they had a chance to sneak in.
Until last night, anyway.
Yes the game was played two days late, but it was still a game played against a bad Nebraska team featuring a five-man rotation. David Rivers played the least minutes of any Nebraska starter yesterday and he played 35 minutes.
So against a bad, short-handed team the Hawkeyes shot 37% for the game and blew a 12-point lead with 13 minutes left to play to lose to the Cornhuskers by four.
Enjoy the NIT, Hawkeyes.