Maybe, Just Maybe

Today's post is more Hawkeye, less Republican for a change: congrats to the men's basketball team for a clutch home win over the Indiana Hoosiers. Given that we were expected to finish 9th in the Big Ten before the season started, I've been relatively impressed with this year's team. More importantly, this win keeps the Hawks in contention for a spot in the NCAA tournament (quit laughing, UNI).

After today's win, the Hawks are 4th in the Big Ten with seven conference games left to play. We have a great chance of beating Northwestern, Purdue, and Illinois at home. On the road, we're also in good shape to steal victories from Minnesota and Penn State. On the downside, I won't expect to see anything spectacular in Madison on February 10th or East Lansing a week later.

So let's pretend that we finish the season strong at 5-2. That leaves us with a final record of 18-12 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten (probably 4th or 5th place, depending on how the rest of the league shapes up) heading into the Big Ten Tournament. Assuming we don't win the tournament (which is never a safe assumption for a Steve Alford-coached team), that's the textbook definition of a bubble team.

Side note #1: Major props (I guess that's what they say in basketball) to the Hawks embattled center Seth Gorney, who outplayed Indiana's highly-regarded forward D.J. White.

Side note #2: What is a Hoosier anyway?

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