8. Iowa Hawkeyes - 11-6 (3-3)
At one point in the season, the Hawkeyes were 5-5 and nowhere on the national radar. Things have improved since, currently on a three-game win streak. They beat Rutgers and Nebraska at home and got an 86-77 win over Minnesota, led by 25 points from Ben Krikke. He leads the team in scoring but once again, Coach Fran McCaffery, now the all-time wins leader for the program, has a top-10 scoring offense capable of winning shootouts.
We’ll see what the team does against increased competition, as they take on Purdue next at home. An upset win there would put them right back on the bubble. Maryland and Michigan follows the Boilermakers on the schedule.
7. Nebraska Cornhuskers - 13-4 (3-3)
This season in the Big Ten, there aren’t a ton of chances for true signature wins for those on the bubble. That’s why Nebraska’s massive home upset over Purdue was so big for their resume. Of course, they failed to follow that up with a win, losing 94-76 on the road to Iowa.
A very winnable stretch is up for the Cornhuskers, starting with Rutgers on the road. Northwestern and Ohio State at home follow. It’ll be interesting to see what this team does as it’s on the bubble but needs to start showing some consistency.