Iowa's Big Ten tournament losing streak not a record, but it's dangerously close
Hawkeyes have lost last five in Big Ten event
By late Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Iowa could share a Big Ten men's basketball record it wants to leave to someone else.
If the Hawkeyes lose to Illinois Thursday at the Big Ten tournament and Indiana defeats Penn State in the second game of the daytime session, Iowa will share the league's mark for most consecutive losses in the tournament.
The Hoosiers ought to handle Penn State and stick around another day. So it's on Iowa to win that game against the Illini.
Indiana tied Purdue's record of 6 when it dropped its first-round game last year. Purdue lost six straight tourney-openers from 2001 through 2006.
The Hoosiers' streak began in the semifinals of 2006. As the No. 3 seed, they were upset in the quarterfinals by a No. 6 seed in 2007 and 2008, and were taken out in the first-round in the following three years.
Iowa has dropped five straight in this tourney. In 2007 it lost a quarterfinal to Purdue, 74-55. Then came first-round losses of 55-47, 73-45, and 59-52 to Michigan, followed by last year's 66-61 defeat to Michigan State.
Northwestern and Penn State have also had five-game losing streaks in the tournament over the years.
Despite not winning since 2006, Iowa still has an overall winning record in the event at 13-12. Illinois is 23-12, second in percentage only to Ohio State's 21-10.
Illinois Coach Bruce Weber has a 12-7 mark in the tournament.
Iowa's Steve Alford ranks third in all-time wins (13-6), behind Tom Izzo (15-12) and Thad Matta (14-4).Bob Knight was 1-3.