Jay Bilas puts Hawkeyes in ESPN’s top 68 men’s college basketball teams for 2023-24 season

With the 2023-24 men’s college basketball getting underway, the Iowa Hawkeyes are looking to see who they will be this season. Coming off of a 19-14 record last year with a trip to the NCAA Tournament, this year’s unit has experience but provides plenty of new faces.

Iowa will be fighting for its tournament life most of the year as it strives to extend its streak of making the NCAA Tournament to four years and five of the last six seasons. ESPN’s Jay Bilas believes they are right on the cusp (subscription required).

While the best 68 teams don’t necessarily make the tournament, he believes Iowa is among those top 68 and has a chance to return to March Madness.

No. 53 Iowa HawkeyesCoach Fran McCaffery returns a solid core of players in Tony PerkinsPayton Sandfort and McCaffery’s son Patrick, but will have to replace Kris Murray, who is now in the NBA. Freshman Owen Freeman and Belmont transfer Even Brauns join the squad and will provide a lot of length inside as the team tries to improve on defense. If the Hawkeyes can get the defense near the same level as the offense, they could be tournament bound again. – Jay Bilas, ESPN

The Big Ten media picked Iowa to finish ninth in the Big Ten this year while CBS Sports put the Hawkeyes at No. 79 overall. ESPN and Bilas are a bit higher on the Hawkeyes than others have been.

Iowa starts their season on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at home inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena when they welcome in North Dakota. The Hawkeyes have a run of out-of-conference games and preseason tournaments before Big Ten play begins on December 4 on the road against the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire