Hawkeyes knocking on NCAA Tournament door in CBS Sports’ newest bracketology

The Iowa Hawkeyes have rattled off wins in four of their last five games and have morphed themselves from a team destined for the NIT to a squad with a real chance at the NCAA Tournament.

Three of those wins have come against teams destined for March Madness in Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Northwestern. Iowa also has one more chance to get another resume-building win in the season finale when they host the Illinois Fighting Illini.

As things stand now heading into that game, Iowa is still on the outside looking in according to CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm, but are knocking on the door loudly.

After ESPN slotted the Hawkeyes in their “next four out” category, Palm has moved Iowa up to the “first four out” category in his newest CBS bracket. Iowa sits as the second team out of the tournament behind Seton Hall who is 18-11 compared to Iowa’s 18-12 record. Iowa does have a slightly better NET ranking at 57 compared to Seton Hall’s NET of 62.

Ahead of the Hawkeyes in the “last four in” category is Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and St. John’s. Their NET rankings are 46, 28, 30, and 39, respectively.

Iowa has some work to do to catch those teams and a win against Illinois in the regular season finale is a must-win. If the Hawkeyes can pull it off, it may be enough to punch Iowa’s ticket to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid on the bubble. Any wins in the Big Ten Tournament stacked on top of it would be icing on the cake.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire