Davis campaigns for NCAAberth

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa coach Tom Davis believes the Hawkeyes are one of the best 64 teams in the country, but do they deserve to be in the NCAA tournament field?
“I hope so. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks,” Davis said Monday at a news conference.
The Hawkeyes (18-9 overall, 7-7 Big Ten) lost 79-72 at Illinois on Sunday and have just two games remaining: at Northwestern on Wednesday and home on Saturday against Indiana.
Victories would give Iowa 20 wins, generally considered the benchmark for inclusion into the NCAA tournament, but one of those victories was against Puerto Rico Mayaguez.
The Tarzans are a Division II school and the win will not count when the NCAA selection committee decides which teams to invite to the tournament.
Iowa had been ranked as high as 10th this season, but they lost six of seven games beginning in late January to plummet out of the top 25. On top of that, the Hawkeyes also lost four games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, while Davis was criticized for a soft non-conference schedule.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt we’re one of the best 64,” he said. “Where we fall in there, I think there’s some doubt. Are we 25th? Are we 35th, or where are we?”
If the Hawkeyes win their remaining games, much will depend on the Big Ten’s inaugural post-season tournament that will be held March 5-8 in Chicago. Iowa is still in the running for a top five seed, which would mean a first-round bye.
Otherwise, it could mean four games in as many days. Someone suggested that Iowa go out and win the tournament and automatically qualify for the NCAA’s.
“That’s right. Win these two and then win four more, or three more or whatever it’s going to take, and that’d be pretty neat,” Davis said. “It’s just my opinion that it’s still very much up in the air as to what it’s going to take.”