The Iowa Hawkeyes are the most underrated NCAA men’s basketball team in the nation according to college basketball analyst Bruce Pearl.
In a column published yesterday by ESPN, Pearl selected the University of Iowa as his number one pick in a rundown of the “nation’s 10 most underrated teams,” taking note of the Hawkeyes’ deep roster of returning starters. Pearl writes:
By winning 25 games a season ago, Fran McCaffery’s team learned a lot about itself. There was nothing wrong with the Hawkeyes’ 18-2 record at home, but their inability to close out tight games on the road cost them. Experience makes all the difference in the world, and the Hawkeyes return all five starters and 10 of their top 11 scorers from last season.
In order for McCaffery’s up-tempo system to work, he needs depth as much as any team in the country — and this season he has it.
With a solid roster and all five starters returning for the current season (not to mention a series of impressive, high-scoring victories), the team has earned a good amount of buzz throughout the month of November. This week’s USA Today/Coaches poll listed Iowa at #25, marking the first time the Iowa men’s basketball team has earned a top 25 ranking since its 2005-2006 season.
The Hawkeyes have won their first four matches this season — all at home — with their next match (also a home game) set for November 22 against the University of Pennsylvania Quakers. View the full schedule here.