The Hawkeyes, Cyclones, and Panthers all making the Big Dance is rare. Very rare. Here's a look at the history and the team's match-ups later this week.

Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI all made the NCAA Tournament in 2005, but that year only Iowa was ranked during the season (for 15 weeks). This season, all three teams were in the Top 25 in mid-January, the first time that's ever happened. Iowa State has been ranked all year, and UNI has spent the last two months inside the Top 20. 2014-15 also marked the first time all three schools won at least 20 games. All those things pointed to a special Selection Sunday, and indeed it is.

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The Iowa State Cyclones received an automatic bid yesterday, after winning their second straight Big 12 Tournament title. It was another huge come from behind victory, this time over the Kansas Jayhawks. The Cyclones are the state's highest seeded team at #3 in the South Region. They'll take on #14 seed Alabama Birmingham/UAB (19-15) Thursday morning at 11:40 (Iowa time) in Louisville, Kentucky. Iowa State enters the tournament with a 25-8 record.

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The Northern Iowa Panthers have been sitting and waiting for a week. UNI defeated Illinois State last Sunday in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship, also giving them an automatic bid. The Panthers are the #5 seed in the East Region, and will take on #12 seed Wyoming (25-9) Friday afternoon at 12:40 (Iowa time) in Seattle, Washington on TBS. UNI enters the tournament with a 30-3 record.

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After a six-game winning streak to end regular season play, the Iowa Hawkeyes had another disappointing Big Ten Tournament, losing to Penn State. Iowa is the #7 seed in the South Region and will take on #10 seed Davidson (24-7) Friday night at 6:20 (Iowa time) in Seattle, Washington on TNT. The Hawkeyes enter the NCAA Tournament with a record of 21-11.

Yes, Iowa and UNI both play Friday in Seattle in different regions. However, Iowa and Iowa State could actually meet in the Sweet 16. Wow! Indeed, the Madness of March has arrived, and I'll enjoy every moment of it.

[via Des Moines Register]