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No Selection Sunday surprise for Hawkeyes

[ 0 ] March 17, 2013 |

Iowa’s bid to the NIT was celebrated last season, marking the program’s return to postseason play for the first time since 2006.

On Sunday, a second straight NIT bid was more of consolation prize after coming tantalizingly close to the NCAA Tournament in Fran McCaffery’s third season as coach.

The 21-12 Hawkeyes, who finished in the first division of the Big Ten at sixth and had the program’s first 20-win season since 2006, will meet Indiana State, coached by Iowa native Greg Lansing, Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Iowa is seeded 3rd in its region, while Indiana State is a six seed. This will be Iowa’s seventh NIT appearance.

If the Hawkeyes advance, they would face the winner between No. 2 seed Massachusetts and No. 7 seed Stony Brook. Virginia is the stop seed in their eight-team region. Three wins earns a trip to the NIT Final Four April 2-4 in New York City.

McCaffery was scheduled to participate in an 8:45 p.m. teleconference to talk about Iowa’s postseason fate.

Iowa’s  poor nonconference strength of schedule likely cost them a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Two teams that finished below the Hawkeyes — Illinois and Minnesota — made the 68-team field, along with five others.

The Big Ten’s seven qualifiers with seeds: Indiana (1), Ohio State (2), Michigan State (3), Michigan (4), Wisconsin (5), Illinois (7) and Minnesota (11).

The last time Iowa made the NCAA Tournament was when it won the conference tournament title under Steve Alford in 2006 then lost in the first round as a No. 3 seed to Northwestern (La.) State.

Check back at HawkCentral.com for continued coverage.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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