Instant Reaction: Nebraska 93, Iowa 91

(Reese Strickland/USA Today sports)

The Iowa Hawkeyes (21-10, 10-10) fell for the fourth straight time on Sunday afternoon, dropping a 93-91 contest to Nebraska (16-15, 6-14) in Lincoln.

  • A disappointing finish to the season continues. Iowa controlled about the first 30 minutes of this game before slowly melting once again.
  • After turning the ball over just twice in the first half, the Hawkeyes coughed it up 11 times in the second half and overtime, allowing Nebraska to climb all the way back from a 16-point deficit to force the extra frame. Sloppy play has been Iowa’s calling card over the last month and change, and they once again proved how below average they look when they become careless with the basketball.
  • At times in this game, Iowa looked like a team not ready for the curtain to fall on its season. In the waning moments of the first half, as well as the opening part of the second, the Hawkeyes were poised to put the proverbial foot on Nebraska’s throat. When Iowa deflates, it seems to largely be related to a lack of effort (or interest) on defense. We’ve said it all season—the Hawkeyes are a team built to outscore their opponents rather than stop them. That’s not usually a great recipe for success in March, but you can live with it if there is still a glimmer of commitment on the defensive end. The problem with Iowa is they seem resigned to the fact their defense is poor, and they try to win in spite of that fact rather than trying to improve their odds by simply caring more about it.
  • 78 of Iowa’s 91 points were scored by the starters. This would normally give me pause, but I think in Iowa’s case it might be a positive sign. While you certainly want bench decent bench production, teams who make deep tournament runs are typically carried by their horses, so it was nice to see Iowa’s big guns show up on the score sheet.
  • The Hawkeyes now head to the Big Ten Tournament on a four-game skid, with the confidence tank running dangerously low. Would anyone feel confident in saying this team has more than two games left for the year?

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