Wednesday September 27, 2023

Eastern Illinois’ Massive Upset Over Iowa By the Numbers

  • Iowa ($6.9M) had over five times the revenue of EIU ($1.3M) in 2020.
  • The Panthers closed as 31.5-point underdogs to the Hawkeyes.
EIU players celebrate after beating Iowa in a mens college basketball matchup
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March isn’t the only time of year when massive college basketball upsets can occur.

On Wednesday, 3-9 Eastern Illinois defeated 8-3 Iowa 92-83. By several measures, it was one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.

The Hawkeyes currently sit 37th in the nation out of 363 teams ranked by KenPom; the Panthers rank 349th.

Iowa’s total student enrollment sits at 20,155, while EIU’s is 4,082 — leading to a massive discrepancy in how much money flies around each of these programs, per the U.S. Department of Education.

  • The Iowa men’s basketball team brought in $6.9M in 2020 revenue; Eastern Illinois’ did $1.3M.
  • Iowa’s operating expenses were $1.2M that year; Eastern Illinois’ were just over $436,000.
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On the sports betting front, the upset was at least just as jarring.

At Caesars Sportsbook, the Hawkeyes closed as 31.5-point favorites — and Caesars did not even offer a moneyline on the contest due to the massive gap.

Per ESPN, underdogs of 30 points or more were 0-558 straight up over the last 30 seasons. The Panthers made it 1-558.

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