Iowa men's basketball team ranked for the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – For the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season, the Iowa men’s basketball team is ranked.

The 4-0 Hawkeyes entered the Associated Press writers poll at No. 20 on Monday. They also were ranked at 22 in the USA Today coaches poll.

Iowa earned its first national ranking in three seasons after winning the 2K Empire Classic tournament in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Iowa defeated then No. 13 Oregon in the semifinals last Thursday before crushing Connecticut 91-72 in the championship game.

Iowa is the fourth highest ranked team in the Big Ten Conference, behind Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.

Iowa's national ranking comes after a season in which it finished 14-19 overall and 4-14 in the Big Ten. Most of the preseason predictions had Iowa finishing in the lower half of the conference. 

The Hawkeyes will put their national ranking on the line when they face Alabama State on Wednesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa will also host Pittsburgh on Nov., 27 before beginning conference play.

Iowa’s first two conference games are against Wisconsin on Nov. 30th at home and at Michigan State on Dec. 3.