IOWA CITY, Ia. — The national reaction to Iowa’s road upset of No. 3 Ohio State Sunday has left forward Aaron White shaking his head.
“We come into this year, and I’m looking at our team in practice and I’m saying, ‘We have a really good team,’” White said after practice Thursday. “A Top 20, Top 15, Top 10 team, whatever you want to say. But there are people saying, ‘Are they going to make the (NCAA) tournament, is this the year they break through?’
“All of a sudden we win one big game on the road, and now you turn on the TV and Iowa is a Final Four contender? I find that funny, to be honest with you. I chuckle to myself.”
Iowa’s 84-74 victory over the Buckeyes registered in a lot of places. The Hawkeyes jumped from 20th to 14th in the Associated Press poll. Ohio State fell eight spots to 11th. And after Iowa’s first road victory over a top five team since 2001, many national observers took notice.
ESPN’S Seth Greenberg mentioned Iowa and the Final Four in the same sentence Tuesday. Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated also listed Hawkeyes as his darkhorse Final Four pick.
Iowa, 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten, hosts Minnesota on Sunday. White said all the national adulation “doesn’t change my perception (of his team). I thought that at the beginning of the year. We have a great group of guys, a talented group of guys, up and down the roster.”
A team, White said, that has plenty of room to grow.
“I still think we’re getting better, which might be the scary thing,” said White, who is averaging 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds.
White appreciates the national buzz but doesn’t put any stock in it.
“I don’t really care what national guys say or what other people think because of one game, whether it’s a loss or a win,” White said. “If you go out and lose a game, it doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re a bad team. Or just because you win one you’re a great team.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball