They are smoke and mirrors, because I can predict most outcomes for them. I make a ton of money betting on or against Iowa men's basketball.
Schedule a bunch of cupcakes in the non con, score 100+ points and win by 30+. Happens almost every time, without fail, for the last 4-5 years of Fran's tenure. Gives the impression of a fast, exciting and explosive team to watch.
Run into a team or two in the non con that might not be as 'basketball skilled' as Iowa's always-veteran team, but they out-athlete and out hustle them. See Iowa State last year, TCU this year, and almost lost to a meh-looking Clemson too.
Do decent to good in the conference season. These games are harder to predict, because they actually do match up well with a lot of Big 10 opponents. The conference has been poverty as of recent years when it comes to doing well in the tournament.
March - flame out before or during the first weekend.
It has become the norm for Fran. It is predictable. It looks good on paper, but it is smoke and mirrors.