The Iowa State Cyclones will play defending national champion UCONN on Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. The 22-10 Cyclones are making their first appearance in the big dance since 2005 and drew the eighth seed in the south region after finishing third in the Big 12 regular season race and a first round loss to Texas in the conference tournament.
UCONN is the ninth seed in the south region. the huskies are 20-13 and finished the big east regular season race 8-10 before falling to Syracruse in the Big East tournament. It has been season that saw UCONN coach Jim Calhoun spend part of it on medical leave.
The winner faces a likely matchup with top seeded Kentucky on Saturday. it will be the the firs ever meeting between the two programs.
The Iowa Hawkeyes will play in the NIT and get a home game in the opening round. The Hawks will take on Dayton on Tuesday night. The Flyers are the higher seed but because Dayton is hosting an NCAA Tournament game Iowa will serve as host.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery who says he felt good about their chances to get into the tournament after they finished the regular season with a record of 17-16. “I felt like our resume with four wins over ranked opponents would be very helpful to us, how we’re playing lately, I thought the Illinois win was huge to us. The fact that our league is the number-one ranked conference in the country and it consistently gets the attention it gets… I thought we had a really good chance,” McCaffery says.
It means Iowa senior guard Matt Gatens will get to extend his Hawkeye career and finally get to play in a post season game. Gattens says it’s incredible to get to play again. Out of the Atlantic 10 conference Dayton is 20-12.
U.N.I. is in the NIT for the first time. The Panthers will visit Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night. The Panthers finished the regular season 19-13.
The Drake Bulldogs men’s basketball team has accepted an invitation from the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament, and has been awarded a first-round home game against North Dakota on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at the Knapp Center.