Iowa Hawkeyes in upset loss to Eastern Illinois Panthers Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery greets players as they head into a timeout during a NCAA men’s basketball game against Eastern Illinois, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. 221221 Eastern Illinois Iowa Mbb 009 Jpg

The Iowa Hawkeyes took on the Eastern Illinois Panthers in what was expected to be a walkover opponent for Iowa. However, things did *not* go to plan for Iowa, and they suffered what’s undoubtedly one of the biggest college basketball upsets in recent memory.

Iowa blew an eight-point halftime lead and lost 92-83 to an Eastern Illinois team that came into Wednesday’s game with only one Division-1 win on the season.

This was a historic loss for Iowa in a number of ways.

According to Max Meyer of Caesar’s Sportsbook, Iowa closed as a 31.5-point favorite over Eastern Illinois on the sportsbook. This loss marks the first time in the last 30 years that a 30-point favorite has lost outright.

This loss also marks the worst loss in the Fran McCaffery era at Iowa, with the Panthers entering the game ranked 356th out of a possible 363 Division 1 college basketball teams by Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency metrics, according to Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register (they’re now ranked 346th after the win).

Many around the college basketball world took to social media to express their disbelief at this wild upset by Eastern Illinois on Wednesday.

Iowa loses a buy game to Eastern Illinois. The epitome of brutality,” tweeted CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein.

“The game before Christmas break is dangerous for a favorite because a team can ‘go on Christmas break’ without telling their coach. We’ve all been there. Eastern Illinois, a 31.5 underdog, just beat Iowa by 9 in Iowa City,” tweeted ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla.

“Eastern Illinois played a fabulous game. Iowa did the opposite. The Panthers are roaring in their dressing room. They took 12 less shots than Iowa, made 8 more,” tweeted Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

It’s certainly a disastrous loss for McCaffery and the Hawkeyes, and this could be a loss that they regret down the stretch of the season if they miss out on the NCAA Tournament next March.

[Max Meyer on Twitter]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.