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How Far Can The Iowa Hawkeyes Go In The 2016 NCAA Tournament?

The Iowa Hawkeyes will begin their NCAA tournament run on Friday against Temple. The Hawkeyes received a seven seed and will play in Barclays Center.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes had a pretty good season overall, but obviously a #7 seed is not what was expected considering they were a top 5 team in the AP poll earlier this year.

Before the season started not many people projected Iowa to be one of the best teams in the country due to the loss of Aaron White. It took them nine weeks to get into the AP poll but by week 12 they were all the way up to 3rd.

With one month until selection Sunday the Hawkeyes sat at 20-5 with losses to only teams in the field. The wheels quickly fell off the Iowa bandwagon as they ended the season losing four out of five including in the Big Ten Tournament to a very weak Illinois squad. The 7 seed they got is definitely what was expected after the first round loss in Indy.

The Hawkeyes will take on the No. 10 Temple Owls in the first round and if Iowa wins that contest, they would likely face #2 Villanova Wildcats. The games will all take place in the Barclays center in Brooklyn, NY, which is worth noting because it is a very quick drive for both Temple and Villanova fans. They also have the #1 overall seed Kansas and fellow Big Ten foe Maryland in the bracket as well.

But before the Hawkeyes start thinking about the rest of their bracket, they have to focus on their opening game against Temple.

A Quick Look At Temple

Temple finished the season 21-11 and they were the American regular season champs. The Owls made it to the NIT semi finals last year but Coach Fran Dunphy is no stranger to the NCAA tournament as this will be his 16th apperence. Temple obviously had a a pretty good year in route to the team's bid, which included ending SMU's perfect season and a win against Cincinnati.

Iowa opens up this game as 7.5 point favorites in Vegas which seems a little bit generous to me. Temple finished the season very strong winning 12 out of their last 14 while Iowa as we mentioned faltered down the stretch.

Overall

The south region is stacked with some pretty good teams like the Kansas Jayhawks, Miami, Cal and Maryland. The Hawkeyes only really have to worry about teams like Temple and then Villanova, unless they advance past the first weekend. For Iowa, if they can get past Temple, they should have a lot of confidence against Villanova, as they have struggled mightly in the big dance recently. The last two years have seen them as #1 and #2 seeds and fail to make the second weekend. Iowa has the talent in Seniors Jared Uthoff, Mike Gesell, and Adam Woodbury to get to the second weekend.

Iowa plays Temple at 3:10 ET in Brooklyn and it should be a very close game as both teams have plenty of talent. If they win their and play Villanova expect a lot of Wildcat fans and it should be a road like enviorment for the Hawkeyes/