25-9 overall, 11-5 conference, 3rd Big Ten
Against the spread
15-15 (8-5 home, 3-8 away)
13-17 (4-9 home, 7-4 away)
2005 Season Summary
Although the Iowa Hawkeyes finished the 2004-05 season by going 21-12 straight up they were just 14-18 against the spread and were bounced in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. In addition to that Iowa went 9-17 against the spread after covering five of their first six games which simply added to the feeling that the program was underachieving.
Not meeting expectations
Steve Alford arrival as head coach was met with wild enthusiasm at Iowa City but the results did not match the hype was while Iowa was more or less competitive they seemed to consistently be a notch or level below the upper echelon Big Ten teams such as Illinois and Michigan State. In addition to that some Iowa fans were becoming weary of the constant rumors about Alford bolting Iowa for the job at his alma mater, Indiana. Overall, the program was not meeting expectations and there was no real good or solid read on the Hawkeyes as they entered the 2005-06 season.
More of the same
Iowa opened the 2005-06 season with back-to-back unlined home wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore and Colgate. In their lined opener against Kentucky as 1-point neutral court chalks, the Hawkeyes prevailed 67-63. In their next game against Texas, however, also on a neutral court, Iowa lost 59-68 as 4-point dogs. This was followed by another unlined home win over Texas-San Antonio.
Iowa next began an ugly stretch of games in which they failed to cover the spread five consecutive times starting with a 45-42 home win over North Carolina State as 6-point overlays. This was followed by another 24-point home overlay in a 75-59 win over Fairfield. Next was a 72-59 win over Valparaiso as 16-point home chalks. Iowa was then upset at Northern Iowa 63-67 as 2-point dogs and then lost badly at Iowa State 60-72 as 1-point dogs. The five pointspread failures were simply more of the same from the previous season and irritated gamblers to no end.
At home against Arizona State, Iowa finally got the cash in a 62-43 win as 13-point chalks. In their next game at home against Drake, however, the Hawkeyes were overlays again in a 65-60 win as 12.5-point chalks. After an unlined home win over Robert Morris, Iowa won at St. Louis 60-50 as 4.5-point chalks.
The Hawkeyes began conference play with a 52-66 loss at Wisconsin as 4.5-point dogs. This was followed by a 63-48 “upset” home win over Illinois as 1.5-point dogs. Iowa next won at Penn State 80-76 as 7.5-point chalks and then beat Minnesota 76-72 in overtime as 10-point home overlays. The Hawkeyes were seemingly useless against the sportsbooks as they failed again, this time at Michigan State, in a 55-85 blowout loss as 7-point dogs for their fifth failure against the oddsmakers in eight games.
Correction finally arrived
Dating back to the 2004-05 season, Iowa had covered the spread in just 13 of their last 41 games. This pathetic production for gamblers earned them a most negative reputation to go along with their more general rep as an underachieving program under Alford. But just as in the stock market, the time to buy into something is when it is at its absolute lowest appeal and the sports betting market correction finally arrived for Iowa at this point in which they were unwanted by the masses.
Starting with a 73-60 win over Indiana as 3-point home chalks the Hawkeyes went on to win and cover six of their next seven games. The won at home over Ohio State, won at Purdue, beat Michigan at home, lost and failed to cover at Northwestern, won at Indiana and then at home over Michigan State. After dropping back-to-back games both straight up and against the spread at Minnesota and at Illinois, the Hawkeyes closed with home wins and covers over Penn State and Wisconsin.
A high and a low
Iowa won and covered over Minnesota, Michigan State, and Ohio State to win the Big Ten tournament title and take some heat away from Alford. But then Iowa was bounced in the first round of the NCAA tourney by Northwestern State to end on a high and a low.