Iowa had lost five of six games coming into the event, but the Wildcats had dropped seven of eight. The Hawkeyes thumped by 26-points Northwestern twice during the earlier this year and were favored by 13 points on Thursday.
The Wildcats forced Iowa (20-12) into a half-court game and made shots, something they didn't do in the first two meetings. They finished 23 of 44 (52.3 percent) from the floor, including 11 of 23 (47.8) on threes. They were a combined 43 of 114 (37.7) on field goals and 9 for 40 (22.5) on treys in the teams' two regular season meetings.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes shot 20 of 62 (32.3) from the field Thursday, including a dismal 6 of 24 (25.0) from behind the arc. Iowa won the battle of bench points, 30-8, but its starters were outscored 59-32.
Senior Roy Devyn Marble did what he could to keep the Hawkeyes in it, scoring 25 points, handing out four assists and collecting two steals. Reserve forward Jarrod Uthoff added 17 points (5 of 6 FGs) and nine rebounds in a losing effort.
It is believed that Iowa did enough during the regular-season to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2006 even though the selection committee's last impression with not be a good one. The bracket is released Sunday night.