Welcome to Five College Basketball Questions You Need Answered. Any retransmission of this column without the express written consent of the author is prohibited and punishable by being forced to travel back in time with Bob Huggins (more on than later).

No.1 How seriously should we take Iowa as a Final Four contender?

Very seriously. The No.9-ranked Hawkeyes (14-3, 5-0 Big Ten) have four victories over ranked teams including a jaw-dropping sweep of Michigan State. The first victory over then top-ranked Sparty – 83-70 in Iowa City – was without Denzel Valentine. Last week, Iowa did it again – this time with Valentine in the starting lineup, winning 76-59 at No.4 Michigan State. It was the Hawkeyes’ first sweep over sweep of this series since 1992-93.

It’s shocking to see Iowa at the top of the Big Ten standings along with Indiana (15-3, 5-0). This is the same squad that lost an exhibition game to Division II Augustana (South Dakota) 76-74. The Hawkeyes were picked to finish seventh in the 14-team league in the Big Ten preseason media poll.

Iowa has beaten then-No.20 Wichita State, won at No.14 Purdue, and Michigan State twice.

“We’re just constantly trying to push the right buttons with who we have,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told the Des Moines Register. “I think we have a good feel for what we have on our team in terms of talent, versatility, character, toughness.”

Senior forward Jarrod Uthoff is a Big Ten player of the year candidate. The league’s leading scorer is averaging 18.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.

 

No.2 What should Bob Huggins do with his $25,000 bonus?

America: what a country, especially if you’re a college basketball coach. West Virginia’s Bob Huggins hugged his players after beating then-No.1 Kansas last week. He might as well have been embracing a sack of money.

Huggins will receive a $25,000 bonus for beating the Jayhawks. Most coaching contracts have incentives for winning championships and advancing in the NCAA tournament – usually not for beating a particular opponent.

Huggins makes $3 million annually so this won’t push him into a higher tax bracket. But it’s a nice chunk of change for a day’s work. Here are some suggestions on how to spend that money.

  1. a) Purchase long sleeves for his trademark pullover.
  2. b) Commission a statue of himself in front of Bramlage Coliseum to commemorate his tenure as the Wildcats coach (one season: 2006–07).
  3. c) Pay someone to toilet paper former Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher’s house.
  4. d) Pay someone to toilet paper Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni’s house.
  5. e) Buy a time machine so he can travel back to 2000 to prevent Kenyon Martin from breaking his leg. Cincinnati wins the national championship.

 

No. 3 How has Frank Haith escaped any substantial NCAA penalties?

Frank Haith seems like a snake oil salesman. He arrives to town with a miracle cure for whatever ails you. Before you realize you’ve been duped, he’s gone with your money and left you seething in rage.

Last week, Missouri announced that it has self-imposed a postseason ban for this season and is vacating all of its wins from the 2013-14 season. This stems from NCAA violations committed when Haith was the coach. The school also said that the verbal notice of inquiry from the NCAA came on April 14, 2014. That timing is suspicious. Haith was formally announced as Tulsa’s coach four days later.

About Michael Grant

Born in Jamaica. Grew up in New York City. Lives in Louisville, Ky. Sports writer. Not related to Ulysses S. Grant, Anthony Grant, Amy Grant or Hugh Grant.