Remember the football season and lack of respect Iowa received? The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament starts in 54 days and one of the first prognostications shows a TON of respect to the Iowa Hawkeyes and also has Iowa State playing fairly close to home.

Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines will be hosting opening-round games in a couple of months and with the Hawkeyes ranked ninth in the nation this week, USA Today is projecting Iowa as a number one seed in the Midwest region, with opening round games played at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. They project six Big Ten teams in the field.

Their other number one seeds at this point are Villanova, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. It's definitely worth noting again that the last two on the list have already lost games within the state of Iowa this season.

USA Today is also forecasting Iowa State as a number three seed in the East Region, with their opening round game(s) in St. Louis. USA Today forecasts seven Big 12 teams in the field, second only to the Pac-12 (nine) and ACC (eight).

There's still a LONG way to go, but fans of Iowa and Iowa State have to love the way this looks right now. Just as the football season was a ton of fun for Iowa football fans, the basketball season is holding the same promise.

[via USA Today]