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Q&A with CBS Sports' Jerry Palm

BY TOM CLOS | MARCH 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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Jerry Palm is the resident NCAA basketball bracketologist for CBSSports.com, and he has made predictions for the NCAA Tournament since 1994. He is the creator of CollegeRPI.com and has quickly become one of the more trusted names in predicting the NCAA field.

The Daily Iowan caught up with Palm to hear his thoughts on the Iowa men’s basketball team’s NCAA Tournament hopes.

DI: Iowa has 20 wins and went 9-9 in the best conference in America. Why, then, are the Hawkeyes currently on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble?

Palm: Because teams are judged on their entire seasons, not just conference play. The Hawkeyes have 20 wins and went 9-9 in the Big Ten, but just playing in the best conference in the country does not go into the selection committee’s considerations. You have to have the impressive wins also.

DI: What on the Hawkeyes’ tournament résumé is favoring them the most?

Palm: Wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa State are the most favorable accomplishments on the Hawkeyes’ résumé.

DI: What on the Hawkeyes’ tournament résumé hurts them the most?

Palm: All of those wins listed above were at home, and Iowa has a bad record against better teams. They also possess a bad road record (2-8) and are plagued with bad losses to Nebraska, Purdue, and Virginia Tech. It also won’t help that they have the worst nonconference schedule (308th in NCAA) the selection committee will see.

DI: Six of Iowa’s conference losses each came by 4 points or fewer, and the team was without Devyn Marble for the Michigan State defeat back in January.  Will the tournament committee take factors such as these into consideration on Selection Sunday?

Palm: For the close losses the committee doesn’t care how you lost, a loss is a loss. In the end, the tournament committee won’t ignore the loss or assume Iowa would have won the game. With Marble’s injury, there won’t be much consideration either.

DI: Outside of winning the Big Ten Tournament, what do the Hawkeyes have to do in Chicago to position themselves for a tournament bid on Selection Sunday?

Palm: Nothing short of winning the championship will guarantee anything. Getting to the finals after beating the best possible opponents will give them a chance at an at-large bid, but that would depend on what other teams around the country do as well.

DI: When the field of 68 is announced, do you expect the Hawkeyes to make the cut?

Palm: No, I do not expect them to do enough at the Big Ten Tournament to warrant an at-large selection into the NCAA Tournament.


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