The Iowa Men's Basketball team learned late Sunday night that they would be facing the Billikens of St. Louis in St. Louis on Tuesday evening, March 16th, at 6:00pm central. The game will be televised on ESPN2 to a national audience. The game will not be played in downtown St. Louis, rather at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO (capacity 10,000).
Five players average better than 25 minutes per game, with the three players mentioned above averaging 23 or more minutes per game. Fisher averages 35 minutes per game.
St. Louis is traditionally a very dangerous team on their home court, and that was once again the case in 2003-2004.
They lost just three home games: 68-67 to Arizona, 70-68 to C-USA champion DePaul and 75-48 to Louisville.
Home wins include: Marquette, Butler, Kansas State and Charlotte. Key road or neutral court wins include: Dayton, DePaul, and Memphis.
St. Louis is not a great rebounding team, coming into the game against Iowa –2.4 on the glass in rebounding margin. They average 12.9 turnovers per game but force 14.3. St. Louis made .701 from the free throw line and attempted nearly 100 more free throws than their opponents.
None of their players in their rotation shot better than .364 from three-point range, thought 35-percent of their field goal attempts came from behind the arc. 29.5-percent of Iowa's field goal attempts on the year were three-pointers.
St. Louis usually does not see more than six, or maybe seven players garner significant minutes.
Iowa leads the all-time series against St. Louis 9-6. The two teams last played each other in December of 2000 in Hawaii, with Iowa winning that game 68-56. Iowa has won the last four meetings between the schools, with the streak starting in 1963.
St. Louis had an RPI of 64 and a strength of schedule of 50, while Iowa's final RPI number was 86 with an SOS of 73. Iowa's RPI was fifth best in the Big Ten while St. Louis' was seventh best in C-USA. Six teams from C-USA made the NCAA tournament field while just three Big Ten teams received an invitation, the lowest number of Big Ten teams ever taken to the Big Dance.
Iowa finished 4th in the final Big Ten standings, and this marks the first time that the fourth place team failed to gain an invite to the NCAA tournament.
The winner of the Iowa-St. Louis game will face the winner of the Notre Dame-Purdue match up.
And for those of you that have to satisfy your curiosity: to learn what a Billiken is, CLICK HERE