Iowa Hawkeye coach Steve Alford says there’s still a chance his team could make the NCAA Tournament without winning the Big Ten tournament’s automatic bid. Alford, though, won’t speculate on whether his team needs to win one or two games to get in. Alford says he knows from past experience that anything can happen with teams “on the bubble.” Iowa lost seven of their last eight ballgames, including close losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. Alford says he can’t fault his team’s effort as the team did some good things in a two-point loss Saturday to Wisconsin. Alford says he may have expected too much from this season’s freshman who were called upon to pick up the slack after leading scorer Luke Recker went down with an injury. Iowa ended the regular season at 7-9 in the conference and 18-11 overall. Iowa plays Northwestern Thursday night at 6:10 p-m in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.