Ohio State poured in first-half 3-pointers, never trailed in beating Iowa, 90-78.

Iowa guard Josh Dix (4) reacts after missing a shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State in the second round of the Big Ten Conference tournament, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

 There probably wasn’t enough postseason basketball oxygen left in Iowa City, anyway.

The Iowa women’s basketball team is the be-all and end-all in Hawkeye World this season, and onward that No. 2-ranked team goes into the NCAA tournament.

Meanwhile, the Hawkeye men’s hoopers made a quick exit from the Big Ten tournament Thursday at Target Center, and almost surely departed the list of NCAA tourney hopefuls.

The Hawkeyes lost their second-round Big Ten tournament game to Ohio State, 90-78. They never led, and didn’t get closer than eight points in the final nine minutes.

Iowa (18-14) likely will next play in the National Invitation Tournament, perhaps Tuesday night in Iowa City. The NIT pairings will be announced Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2).

Who’s ready for some NIT bracketology? Who indeed?

There were too many defense-light moments for the Hawkeyes against an Ohio State team (20-11) that won its fifth-straight game and faces Illinois here in a Friday quarterfinal.

Too many open Buckeye 3-pointers in the first half, OSU baskets off inbounds plays, Buckeyes that weren’t boxed out on missed OSU shots.

Ohio State was 8-of-11 from deep in the first half in building a 43-38 halftime lead, then senior transfer Jamison Battle scored all 23 of his game-high points after that to pace his team to victory.

Six Buckeyes made 3-pointers and their team was 8-of-11 from deep in the first half. The Hawkeyes shot 53.9 percent in the first half, but plunged to 33.3 after that.

Ohio State sophomore guard Bruce Thornton had a pair of 3s in the first four minutes as his team jetted to a 10-2 lead, then he matched his previous career-high of seven assists in the first half alone. He added two more later.

Freshman Buckeye guard Scotty Middleton had 11 points in the first half, giving him more points than he had scored in a full game since OSU’s season-opener.

It was a good night to be a Buckeye. For Iowa, there’s more basketball left. Just not the kind it wanted.