College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 19, 2012
When talk turns to "bubble teams," there may be none more effervescent than the 14-15 (6-8 Big Ten) Iowa Hawkeyes, who turned their home court into an Indiana massacre scene Sunday, topping the youthful, 18th-ranked Hoosiers, 78-66, to keep their unlikely dream of reaching the NCAA tournament alive.
The Hawkeyes got 30 points from senior Matt Gatens, who was splashing from long range, making 7 of 10 3-pointers and 10 of 18 overall.
The 6'5" guard had his best game ever, his 30 points a career high, helping Iowa win its third game of the season against a ranked opponent. Earlier in the year, the Hawkeyes beat Wisconsin and Michigan, but have suffered a raft of losses - mostly on the road - to teams that will be going home in March instead of playing post-season hoops.
With just four games left on their regular season schedule, the Hawkeyes could make a bid if they can beat Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern and Nebraska and do well in the Big Ten tourney. Finishing over .500 is nearly a requisite for entry into the NCAA's, and the Hawkeyes still have an uphill climb.