Iowa (21-11, 7-9) will meet Cincinnati (24-7) in the Austin Region of the NCAA Tournament. Game time is Thursday, March 17 at approximately 2 p.m. CT, or 30 minutes following the Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky contest, at the RCA Dome (37,565) in Indianapolis, IN. Butler University and the Horizon League are serving as the site host. Iowa is seeded 10th in the region, while the Bearcats are the seventh seed. The winner of the Iowa vs. Cincinnati game will meet either Kentucky or Eastern Kentucky Friday evening, March 19, at a time to be determined.
Iowa has won five of its last six games. The Hawkeyes won two games in the Big Ten Conference Tournament before falling to Wisconsin (59-56) in the semi-finals. Cincinnati has won six of its last seven games, having a six-game losing streak stopped in an 80-68 loss to South Florida in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. Television: CBS will televise all NCAA Tournament games.
Iowa has played 2,342 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa's record is 1,396-946 (.596). That includes an 871-306 (.740) record in home games, a 525-640 (.451) record in games away from Iowa City, a 664-654 (.504) mark in Big Ten games and a 277-80 (.776) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IN THE RANKINGS
Iowa was ranked for nine consecutive weeks this season, climbing as high as 14th in the Associated Press poll on Jan. 3. Iowa began the season receiving no votes in either poll. The Hawkeyes are 54th in the RPI rankings and 28th in the Sagarin Ratings.
IOWA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Iowa is participating in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st time, returning for the first time since 2001. Iowa, as a seven seed, advanced to the second round before losing to Kentucky in its last appearance. Iowa advanced to the Sweet 16 as a five seed in 1999, losing to eventual national champion Connecticut in the regional semi-final.
The Hawkeyes hold an overall record of 27-22 in the tournament, advancing to the Final Four in 1955 (fourth), 1956 (second) and 1980 (fourth). Iowa has advanced to at least the second round in its last 10 tournament appearances, last losing in the first round in 1986. Iowa reached the regional championship in 1987 and lost in the regional semi-final in 1988 and 1999.
IOWA IN INDY Iowa is 5-8 all-time in Indianapolis, while playing in three different arenas. Iowa is 4-2 in Conseco Fieldhouse, 0-2 at Market Square Arena and 1-4 at Butler's Hinkel Fieldhouse. Iowa has not played in the RCA Dome.
Along with the 2002 (3-1) and 2004 (0-1) Big Ten Conference Tournaments at Conseco, Iowa defeated Louisville (Wooden Tradition) early in the 2003-04 season.
Iowa took part in the 1980 Final Four at Market Square Arena, losing to Louisville (80-72) in the semi-finals and falling to Big Ten rival Purdue (75-58) in the consolation game.
Iowa lost four of five games at Hinkel Fieldhouse between 1937 and 1950.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYONE
No current Hawkeye players have played in the NCAA Tournament. However, seven players have participated in post-season play. The Hawkeyes have played in the National Invitational Tournament the previous three years.
IOWA VS. THE AUSTIN BRACKET
Iowa has faced nine other teams that are in the Austin bracket. Iowa is 48-55 vs. Michigan State (1-1 this season), 2-5 vs. Kentucky, 5-3 vs. Stanford, 3-2 vs. Oklahoma, 2-2 vs. Texas-El Paso, 2-0 vs. Syracuse, 2-0 vs. Mississippi State, 1-7 vs. Duke and 0-1 vs. Utah. Iowa and Stanford were both in the EA Sports Maui Invitational in November, but the two teams did not meet.
The Hawkeyes have never faced Eastern Kentucky, Niagra, Vermont, Old Dominion or Delaware State.
PLENTY OF CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
Five of the teams playing in the Austin bracket either won their conference regular season or tournament championship, while five teams won both titles. Teams that won both championships include Delaware State (MEAC), Old Dominion (Colonial), Vermont (America East), Utah (Mountain West) and Niagra (MAAC). Teams that won their conference regular season championship include Kentucky (SEC) and Oklahoma (Big 12). Teams that won their conference tournament include Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Duke (ACC) and UTEP (WAC).
AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD
Iowa posted a 7-7 record in 14 games against teams that are in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Among the NCAA teams, Iowa was 1-0 against Texas, Louisville, Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Texas Tech. The Hawkeyes were 1-1 vs. Michigan State and Minnesota, 0-1 vs. North Carolina and 0-2 vs. Illinois and Wisconsin.
The Hawkeyes played just one team that is participating in the NIT, defeating Indiana 72-57 in Iowa City in the only meeting.
STATE OF IOWA IN THE TOURNAMENT
The state of Iowa has the third most teams in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, as Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa are all participating.
North Carolina leads the category with five teams (North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Charlotte and North Carolina State). California has four schools in the tournament while Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky join Iowa with three.
IOWA CONNECTIONS IN THE TOURNAMENT
Three teams in the NCAA Tournament have connections to the University of Iowa. Current Arizona Coach Lute Olson was head coach at Iowa from 1975-1983. Olson led Iowa to its third Final Four appearance in school history in 1980. Current Wisconsin-Milwaukee Coach Bruce Pearl served as an assistant at Iowa under Tom Davis for six seasons. Kirk Speraw, the head coach at Central Florida, lettered at Iowa in 1978 and 1979. Speraw coached under Olson for one season, helping the Hawkeyes advance to the 1980 Final Four.
HAWKEYES CLOSE FAST
Iowa closed the regular season with three straight wins, including road wins at Penn State and Michigan, before defeating Purdue 71-52 and 10th-ranked Michigan State 71-69 in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa was knocked from the Big Ten event in a 59-56 last-second loss to Wisconsin in the semi-finals.
This marks the first time since the 1997 season that Iowa has closed the regular schedule with three straight victories. It also marks the first time since 1987 in which Iowa closed the season with three straight wins, when two of the wins were on the road. Iowa had not won its final two road games of the season since 1991 when Iowa won at Indiana and at Northwestern in the final two road games.
IOWA AT NEUTRAL SITES
Iowa has played seven neutral site games in 2004-05, posting a 5-2 record. The Hawkeyes were 2-1 at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, defeating Louisville and Texas before falling to North Carolina in the title game. Iowa defeated Texas Tech at the United Center on Dec. 21 and posted a 2-1 record in the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago.
In 16 games this season away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa has posted an 8-8 overall record.
IOWA IN TOURNAMENT PLAY
Iowa has faired well while taking part in regular-season tournaments over the past 23 years. In that time Iowa has won the Great Alaska Shootout (1986-87), the Cal-Irvine Anteater Classic (1986-87), the Maui Classic (1987-88), the San Juan Thanksgiving Shootout (1992-93), the San Juan Christmas Shootout (1997-98), the Big Ten Conference Tournament in 2001 and its own invitational 22 times.
In addition, Iowa was runner-up in the 1985-86 Far West Classic, the 1987-88 All-College Tournament, the 1988-89 Chaminade Classic, the 1991-92 Tampa Tribune Holiday Invitational, the 1994-95 Rainbow Classic, the 1995-96 Great Alaska Shootout, the 1999-00 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the 2001-02 Guardians Classic, the 2002 Big Ten Conference Tournament and the 2004 Maui Invitational.
IOWA SECURES FIVE IN A ROW
With 21 wins, Iowa has enjoyed a fifth straight winning season, a streak that matches the second longest consecutive winning seasons streak in Iowa basketball history.
The 19 wins mark the highest regular season victory total for Iowa under Steve Alford and the most for Iowa since 1998. Iowa won 18 regular season games in 2001 on the way to posting a 23-12 final record.
Iowa's longest streak of consecutive winning seasons is seven, from 1950 through 1956. Pops Harrison, Bucky O'Connor and Rollie Williams all coached the Hawkeyes during those years. Only a 10-10 record in 1949 kept Iowa from 13 consecutive winning seasons (1944-56).
Lute Olson coached Iowa to five straight winning seasons from 1979-83, George Raveling and Tom Davis combined to coach Iowa to winning seasons from 1985-89 and Davis coached Iowa to winning seasons from 1995-99.
CINCINNATI COACH BOB HUGGINS
Bob Huggins is in his 24th season as a college head coach, including 16 as the Cincinnati head coach. The Bearcats are competing in their 14th straight NCAA Tournament, which is the third longest active streak. Huggins holds a record of 398-126 (.760) at Cincinnati, making him the school's winningest coach, in terms of wins and percentage.
His career mark stands at 566-198 (.741). His teams have won 20 or more games in all but four of his 24 campaigns. Huggins coached Bearcat teams have reached the NCAA Elite Eight three times (1992, 1993 and 1996) and the Final Four once (1992). He is a three-time Conference USA Coach of the Year honoree (1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-00). Huggins has not coached against Iowa and he is 1-0 vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford. The Bearcats downed Alford's Southwest Missouri State team 101-60 on 1/1/97 in the San Juan Shootout.
Cincinnati holds a 5-2 advantage in the series that began with a 96-83 Bearcat win in 1959. Iowa's last win in the series came by a 69-64 (OT) margin in 1980 when the teams last met. Two of the previous meetings also came at neutral sites.
THE LAST MEETING
Iowa defeated Cincinnati 69-64 at the Fiesta Classic in Tempe, AZ during the 1980-81 season. Iowa shot 41% from the field and won the rebounding battle, 31-20. Five Hawkeyes scored in double figures. Vince Brookins led Iowa with 15 points. Kenny Arnold scored 13, Steve Carfino added 12, Kevin Boyle scored 11 and Mark Gannon finished with 10 points.
IOWA, BEARCAT NOTES
Iowa holds a 35-24 record vs. current members of Conference USA. Cincinnati is the third Conference USA team the Hawkeyes will face this season. Iowa defeated Louisville 76-71 at the Maui Invitational and Saint Louis 67-58 on New Year's Eve in Iowa City.
Cincinnati was 1-1 vs. the Big Ten during the regular season, taking a 79-59 win over Purdue and falling to Illinois, 67-45. Both of those games were played at neutral sites.
Iowa and Cincinnati played five common opponents this season. Iowa defeated Louisville, Northern Iowa and Saint Louis, and won two of three games vs. Purdue. The Hawkeyes lost twice to Illinois. Cincinnati defeated Northern Iowa in double overtime, along with defeating Purdue and Saint Louis. The Bearcats lost to Illinois and were defeated twice by Louisville.
NOT GETTING THE CLOSE ONES
Nineteen of Iowa's 32 games have been decided by 10 points or less. Iowa is 11-8 in games decided by 10 points or less, with seven of the losses coming in overtime. Iowa is 1-2 in overtime games.
In Big Ten play, Iowa lost two games in overtime, two road games by three points each and another by two points at home. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan 65-63 to open Big Ten play and dropped a 72-69 decision at #20 Wisconsin and a 66-63 contest at Purdue. Iowa lost overtime games at top-ranked Illinois (73-68) and at Northwestern (75-74). Iowa closed the regular season with a two-point home win over Ohio State and an overtime win at Michigan. In the Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes defeated Michigan State by two points and lost to Wisconsin (59-56) on a three-point shot at the buzzer.
Five of Iowa's seven conference wins came on the home court, with the Hawkeyes winning their final two road games at Penn State and Michigan. The five home wins came by margins of six, 14, 15, 10 and two points. Even with the 7-9 Big Ten record, Iowa outscored its league opponents by a 68.2-67.2 margin.
IOWA AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
As a team, Iowa is tied for 12th nationally in blocked shots per game (5.4). Individually, Erek Hansen is 11th in blocked shots per game (2.7) and Jeff Horner is 26th in three-point field goal percentage (.410).
HAWKEYES BETTER ON THE BOARDS
Iowa has won the rebounding battle in eight of its last 10 games. Iowa held a 34-22 advantage in the home win over Northwestern, a 39-32 advantage in the loss at Purdue, a 36-21 advantage in the loss to Illinois, a 36-31 margin at Penn State, a 30-27 margin vs. Ohio State, a 38-33 margin at Michigan, a 39-38 advantage over Michigan State and a 32-31 margin over Wisconsin. In a loss at Minnesota, the Gophers held a 44-39 rebounding edge, including a 20-13 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Minnesota's 20 offensive rebounds marked the eighth time this season Iowa's opponent had 15 or more offensive rebounds, and Michigan had 18 offensive rebounds. The most offensive rebounds allowed, 21, came in non-conference action vs. North Carolina Greensboro.
For the season Iowa holds a 36.1-34.9 rebounding advantage, while Iowa's margin was 34.8-33.6 in Big Ten games.
IOWA HAS FEWEST TURNOVER TOTAL
Iowa was guilty of just six turnovers in a loss at Wisconsin, a season-low and the lowest number for Iowa in 192 games under Coach Steve Alford. For the second straight game, the Hawkeyes had just one turnover in the second half. The Hawkeyes were guilty of just nine turnovers in the win over Ohio State.
The Hawkeyes are 7-8 in 15 games under Alford in which they commit less than 10 turnovers, with six of those games taking place in 2005.
IOWA SETS BLOCKED SHOT RECORD
Iowa has established a single season record with 173 blocked shots in 32 games. The previous record of 165 blocks was set in 32 games in 1993. The Hawkeyes blocked 161 shots in 1992 and 153 in 1991.
With 11 blocked shots in the loss at Minnesota, Iowa nearly tied the single-game record for blocks. Iowa has established its single-game record of 12 blocked shots in three games this season, collecting 12 blocks vs. North Carolina, North Carolina-Greensboro and Saint Louis. The previous record of 11 blocked shots was set in an 80-65 win at Drake on Jan. 4, 1993.
IOWA VS. RANKED FOES
Steve Alford has posted an 18-29 record against ranked opponents as Iowa's head coach, including a 3-6 mark in 2004-05. Iowa, this season, has defeated 11th-ranked Louisville (76-71), 13th-ranked Texas (82-80) and 10th-ranked Michigan State (71-69), with losses to 11th-ranked North Carolina (92-106), at No. 1 ranked Illinois (68-73) in overtime, to 10th-ranked Michigan State (64-75) at home, at #20 Wisconsin (72-69), 75-65 to top-ranked Illinois in Iowa City and 59-56 to #22 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament.
Alford's Hawkeye teams are 6-12 when playing teams ranked in the top 10, including wins over top-ranked Connecticut (70-68 in 1999-00), 2nd-ranked Missouri (83-65 in 2001-02), 5th-ranked Ohio State (67-64 in 1999-00), 7th-ranked Illinois (78-62 in 2000-01), 8th-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03) and 10th-ranked Michigan State (71-69 in 2005).
The 12 losses to top 10 teams have been three times to No. 1 (Duke, 2001-02 and Illinois twice in 2004-05), once to 3rd-ranked (Illinois, 2000-01), twice to 4th-ranked (Michigan State, 1999-00 and 2000-01), twice to 5th-ranked (Tennessee, 2000-01 and Missouri, 2001-02), once to 9th-ranked (Kentucky, 2000-01) and three times to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000, Illinois, 2002 and Michigan State, 2005).
In the 47 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-9 in home games, 9-9 at neutral sites and 3-11 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.
HORNER SURPASSES 1,000 POINTS
Junior guard Jeff Horner has become the 37th member of Iowa's 1,000-Point Club. A three-point basket early in the win over Ohio State put Horner over 1,000 points. Horner has become the only player in Iowa history with over 1,000 points, over 400 rebounds and over 400 assists as his current numbers include 1,083 points, 436 rebounds and 442 assists. He ranks 30th in career scoring and he is the only player in Iowa history to collect over 200 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists in three different seasons.
Horner is averaging 14.1 points per game, along with 5.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Horner had a career-high 27 points in the win over Texas and he led the Maui Invitational in scoring with 63 points in three games. Horner made 15-23 three-point attempts in the three games in Hawaii, moving into Iowa's top 10 in both three-pointers and three-point attempts. His 84 made three-point baskets this season rank as the third-best single season total and he had 65 three-pointers a year ago.
Horner was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his play in Maui and he earned the award again in the final week of the season after leading Iowa to wins over Ohio State and Michigan. Horner has earned the award three times, as he earned it Feb. 9, 2004 after leading Iowa to a double-overtime win at Indiana.
Horner had 25 points, including the game-winning basket with 3.4 seconds remaining, in the win over Ohio State, a career-high in Big Ten games. He played all 40 minutes against the Buckeyes with no turnovers, while collecting eight rebounds and eight assists. He added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists while playing 44 minutes in the overtime win at Michigan.
Horner is shooting 41% from the field and from three-point range, and 78.3% from the free throw line. Horner was named to the all-tournament team at the Maui Invitational and he was co-MVP of Iowa's Gazette Hawkeye Challenge. Horner, who is averaging 36.6 minutes per game, has committed one or no turnovers in 12 of 32 games and he is averaging one turnover every 14.6 minutes of action.
HORNER AMONG IOWA LEADERSJunior guard Jeff Horner has moved into Iowa's top five lists in three-point field goals, three-point attempts and assists. Horner ranks fourth on the list for career three-pointers and his 84 treys this season rank as third best for a single season.
BRUNNER SURPASSES 1,000 POINTS
Junior forward Greg Brunner is leading Iowa in rebounding for the second straight season and he became the most recent member of Iowa's 1,000-Point Club in Iowa's most recent outing. He is averaging 8.3 rebounds for the season and he averaged 8.9 in conference games, ranking second in the Big Ten for league games and all games. Brunner is second among current Big Ten players with 10 scoring and rebounding doubles-doubles this season and he is tied for first with 19 in his career. In Big Ten games only, Brunner ranked second in rebounds (8.9), ninth in scoring (15.9), eighth in steals (1.4), ninth in blocked shots (0.8) and 15th in FG% (.495). His career totals include 1,015 points and 666 rebounds.
Brunner had a career-high 28 points at Northwestern, hitting 11-17 field goals and 6-8 free throws, and he also had three blocked shots. Brunner has raised his career total to 84 blocks, moving in to ninth place on Iowa's list of career leaders.
At Wisconsin he had 27 points (12-21 FGs) and seven rebounds and he added 16 points and a solid defensive effort in the home win over Northwestern. At Purdue he collected 19 points and 10 rebounds and he added 15 points and nine rebounds in a home loss to Illinois. Brunner matched his career-best with 14 rebounds at Penn State, adding 14 points and equaling a career-best with five assists. Brunner led Iowa with 24 points in the overtime win at Michigan. At the Big Ten Tournament, Brunner had 17 points and seven rebounds in a win over Michigan State and 18 points and seven rebounds in the loss to Wisconsin.
Brunner was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his play against Wisconsin and Northwestern in early February. Brunner earned the recognition for the second time in his career, as he was honored early in the 2004 season after leading Iowa to wins over Drake and Louisville.
Brunner had 13 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Minnesota, 16 points and 11 rebounds in the overtime loss at Illinois and 13 points and nine rebounds vs. Indiana. Brunner had 13 rebounds in the win over Iowa State and he has 10 rebounds or more in 10 additional games.
Brunner has scored in double figures in 28 games. He is shooting 51.7% from the field and 68.3% from the foul line.
HALUSKA HEATS UP
Sophomore Adam Haluska has increased his overall production over Iowa's last 12 games. In those games he is averaging 17.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, shooting 51.1% from the field, 38.6% from three-point range and 82% from the free throw line.
Haluska scored a career-high 24 points in the loss to Michigan State, including 9-11 free throws, and he added six rebounds. He added 16 points in a loss at Wisconsin and led Iowa with 20 points and eight rebounds in a home win over Northwestern. At Purdue, he added 12 points and five rebounds and he had 20 points and seven rebounds in a home loss to Illinois. He led Iowa with 19 points in the loss at Minnesota and he added five rebounds. At Penn State, he hit 10-14 field goals, collecting 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He scored 22 points in the win over Ohio State and added 17 points, three rebounds and three assists in the win at Michigan.
Haluska has scored in double figures in 26 of 32 games, including 21 in wins over Texas Tech and Drake. Playing against his former school, he added 20 points in a win over Iowa State, hitting 4-8 treys. Haluska had 19 points in the loss to North Carolina and 17 points vs. UNC Greensboro. He had career-bests of five assists and four steals in the win over Northwestern.
In his first season at Iowa, Haluska is shooting 48.5% from the field, 40% from three-point range and 81.1% from the free throw line while averaging 14.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
HANSEN ON BLOCKS CHART
Junior center Erek Hansen has collected 83 blocked shots in 31 games, moving among Iowa's leaders in blocks for a season and career. A year ago Hansen blocked 40 shots in 22 games. The 83 blocks rank fourth best for a single season and his 123 career blocks rank fourth among Iowa's career leaders. Hansen had a career-best seven blocked shots vs. Iowa State and Saint Louis and he had six blocks in a win over Texas Tech and a loss to Michigan. He has blocked five or more shots in eight games, and he is averaging 5.0 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 44.1% from the field and 72.2% from the free throw line. He had a career-high 14 points vs. Northern Iowa, he had 11 points and six rebounds vs. Texas and he had nine points at Minnesota. Hansen collected nine points, six rebounds and three blocked shots vs. Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament after having seven points and six rebounds in an opening round win over Purdue.