IOWA CITY, Iowa – For the first time since the early 1990s, the Iowa men’s basketball team will make a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawkeyes are seeded seventh in the South Region and will face No. 10 seed Temple in the first round on Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
This marks the first time since a three-year stretch from 1991-93 under former coach Tom Davis that Iowa has made the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive seasons. The Hawkeyes also won an NCAA Tournament game last season for the first time since 2001.
Iowa earned a spot in the 68-team field despite losing six of its last eight games, including a a 68-66 setback against No. 12 seed Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament last Thursday in Indianapolis.
Fran McCaffery has led Iowa to a postseason tournament in five of his six seasons as head coach. The Hawkeyes played in the National Invitation Tournament in McCaffery’s second and third seasons as head coach, finishing runner-up to Baylor in 2013.
McCaffery, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, also has a friendship with Temple coach Fran Dunphy. The Temple campus is located in Philadelphia.
So you could call Friday’s first-round game the battle of Frans and the battle of friends.
McCaffery and several of his players met with the media shortly after the brackets were announced on Sunday to share their reaction.