The First of Two Biggies

Feb. 2, 2004

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Iowa (11-7, 4-3) plays at Michigan State (10-8, 5-2) Wednesday, Feb. 4 in the first of two road games this week. Game time is 7:05 p.m. CT at MSU’s Breslin Center (14,759). Iowa defeated Penn State 77-58 in Iowa City Saturday, while Michigan State defeated Indiana 84-72 Saturday in East Lansing. This is the only meeting of the season between Iowa and the Spartans.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. Television: ESPN Regional will carry the game to a network of stations that includes KGAN Cedar Rapids, KDSM Des Moines, KGWB Quad Cities, KYOU Ottumwa and KCAU Sioux City. The game can also be seen on cable in Mason City and Omaha/Council Bluffs and on Victory Sports in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Larry Morgan and Greg Kelser will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,299 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,370-929 (.596). That includes an 856-301 (.740) record in home games, a 514-628 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 652-640 (.505) mark in Big Ten games and a 262-75 (.777) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa has compiled a 262-75 (.777) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 125-62 (.668) in Big Ten games and 137-13 (.913) in non-Big Ten games. Iowa has drawn over five million fans for men’s basketball games since the arena opened in 1983, surpassing the five million mark when 14,268 fans saw Iowa defeat Ohio State Jan. 24, 2004. Iowa has posted a 54-20 (.730) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 33-4 (.892) mark in non-conference home games.

Having played four games against ranked opponents this season, Steve Alford has posted a 15-21 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 5-3 mark in Iowa’s last eight games against ranked foes and a 2-2 mark in 2003-04. Iowa, this season, defeated 16th-ranked Louisville 70-69 in overtime and 24th-ranked Purdue 71-61 in Iowa City. Iowa lost at 22nd-ranked Missouri, 76-56 and at 25th-ranked Illinois, 88-82.

Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 5-8 when playing teams ranked in the top 10, including wins over top-ranked Connecticut (70-68 in 1999-00), second-ranked Missouri (83-65 in 2001-02), fifth-ranked Ohio State (67-64 in 1999-00), seventh-ranked Illinois (78-62 in 2000-01) and 8th-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03). The eight losses to top 10 teams have been once to No. 1 (Duke, 2001-02), once to No. 3 (Illinois, 2000-01), twice to No. 4 (Michigan State, 1999-00 and 2000-01), twice to No. 5 (Tennessee, 2000-01 and Missouri, 2001-02), once to No. 9 (Kentucky, 2000-01) and once to No. 10 (Illinois, 2002).

In the 36 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-5 in home games, 6-7 at neutral sites and 3-9 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally ranked opponents: At Home: 71-61 over 24th-ranked Purdue, 1/7/04; On the Road: 67-63 over 20th-ranked Tulsa, 12/28/02; Neutral Court: 70-69 (OT) over 16th-ranked Louisville at Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, 11/29/03.

IOWA COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his fifth season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and his 13th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 240-142 (.628), including an 84-65 (.568) record at Iowa, a 78-29 (.729) record in four seasons (1992-95) at Div. III Manchester College and a four-year record (1996-99) of 78-48 (.619) at Southwest Missouri State. He is 29-42 (.408) in Big Ten games at Iowa. Career win No. 200 for Alford came in 2002 in a 78-53 win at Iowa State. Alford is 8-5 in the NCAA Tournament (3-2 in Div. I and 5-3 in Div. III) and 2-3 in the NIT.

Alford led Iowa to the 2001 Big Ten Conference Tournament title and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his second season with the Hawkeyes. Iowa earned a return trip to the title game of the Big Ten Conference Tournament in 2002 and advanced to the NIT in post-season play in both 2002 and 2003. The Hawkeyes set a Big Ten Conference Tournament record with seven straight wins over two seasons (2001-2002) before a last-second loss in the first round of the 2003 tournament. Alford’s record in the event is 8-3 in his four seasons. Alford led Southwest Missouri State to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1999 and in 1995 Manchester advanced to the NCAA championship game before suffering its first defeat of the season.

Alford is a 1987 graduate of Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers to the 1987 NCAA title. Alford was a member of the 1984 U. S. Olympic team that earned the Gold Medal and he was the 26th player selected in the NBA Draft following his senior season. Alford played four seasons in the NBA before beginning his coaching career.

At Indiana, Alford started 120 of 125 games in four seasons. He served as team captain in 1987 when the Hoosiers were 30-4. Steve concluded his college career as Indiana’s all-time scoring leader with 2,438 points and he holds the Indiana record for career steals with 178. He was a consensus first team All-American and the Big Ten MVP as a senior.

Alford is a member of the Manchester College M Association Hall of Fame and the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2001 he was named one of the “Top 50 Athletes” in the history of the state of Indiana and was selected as a member of the 15-man Indiana University all-Century team.

Alford is 2-5 vs. Michigan State and Spartan Coach Tom Izzo.

Iowa Coach Steve Alford was recently named to ESPN’s Big Ten Conference Silver Anniversary team, honoring Big Ten players from the past 25 years. Alford led Indiana to the 1987 NCAA championship and was a member of the 1984 USA Olympic team that won the gold medal.

Other members of ESPN’s team are Kevin McHale, Minnesota, Glenn Robinson, Purdue, Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State and Jim Jackson, Ohio State.

MSU Coach Tom Izzo is in his ninth year as a college head coach, all at Michigan State. Izzo holds a record of 199-86. Izzo led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA championship and to the Final Four in 1999 and 2001. MSU has won four Big Ten regular season titles and two Big Ten Tournament championships under Izzo while compiling a 25-8 post-season record. The Spartans last season advanced to the Elite Eight before an 85-76 loss to Texas in the regional finals. He has been named national Coach of the Year on three occasions. He has been a member of the Michigan State staff since 1983. Izzo is 11-3 vs. Iowa and 5-2 vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Michigan State holds a 53-47 advantage over Iowa in the series that began with a 52-37 MSU win in 1938. The two teams split a pair of games in 2003, each winning at home. Iowa won 68-64 on Jan. 11 in Iowa City and the Spartans took an 82-54 decision March 5 in East Lansing. The Spartans have won 11 of the last 14 and 14 of the last 18 meetings.

The Spartans holds a 34-17 advantage in games played in East Lansing, where Iowa has lost nine straight since taking an overtime win at the Breslin Center in 1993. Iowa is 2-11 at the Breslin Center, which opened in 1989-90.

Iowa and Michigan State split two games a year ago, with each winning at home. The Hawkeyes took a 68-64 decision in Iowa City and the Spartans later scored an 82-54 win in East Lansing.

After leading for the majority of the contest, Iowa had to withstand a late charge to earn a 68-64 win over 20th-ranked Michigan State last Jan. 11. After trailing 6-4 in the opening minutes, Iowa controlled most of the first half and led 39-30 at intermission, shooting 51.9% from the field in the opening half and holding MSU to 37.9%. Michigan State stayed close throughout the second half, taking a 61-60 advantage with 1:50 to play. Iowa then scored seven straight points and did not allow the Spartans to score again until a three-point basket with nine seconds to play cut the Iowa margin to 67-64. Horner had tied the game at 61-61 with a free throw, while Brody Boyd, Jared Reiner and Horner each made two free throws to build Iowa’s margin to 67-61.

Iowa earned the win despite shooting just 34.8% from the field in the second half. Iowa had just five turnovers in the final 20 minutes and 14 for the game, while forcing 18 MSU turnovers and collecting 13 steals. MSU won the rebounding battle by a 42-29 margin, but the Spartans made just 6-14 free throws, including 1-4 in the second half. Glen Worley led Iowa’s scoring attack with a career-high 29 points. Chauncey Leslie added 11 points and freshman Greg Brunner led Iowa with nine rebounds. MSU was led by Chris Hill with 18 points and Maurice Ager with 14. Alan Anderson added seven rebounds and six assists.

Michigan State controlled the action from start to finish in the second, taking an 82-54 win in east Lansing. The Spartans scored the first 16 points of the game, as Iowa did not score its first point until the 13:17 mark in the first half and did not make its first field goal until 11:23 remained in the half. Iowa shot just 20.8% from the field in the first half and committed 13 turnovers as the Spartans built a 39-16 halftime advantage.

Iowa performed better in the second half, but was never able to make a serious run at the Spartans. Iowa shot 50% from the field in the final 20 minutes and cut the number of turnovers down to six, but by that stage of the contest the Spartans had a comfortable margin. Michigan State ended the game shooting 56.5% from the field, the best percentage allowed by Iowa all season. The Spartans also shot 54.5% from three-point range.

Jared Reiner led Iowa’s effort, collecting 17 points and seven rebounds. Worley added 11 points, Leslie scored 10 and Brunner added seven rebounds. Adam Ballinger led MSU with 22 points, Anderson scored 14, Hill 11 and Kelvin Torbert 10. Ballinger also led the Spartans with six rebounds.

Michigan State (48.2%) and Iowa (46.8%) rank first and second, respectively, in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, for all games played. MSU is also first in three-point percentage (39.1%) and Iowa is second (38.5%). The teams hold those same rankings, in both categories, for Big Ten games only.

Michigan State (1999 and 2000) and Iowa (2001) have won three of the six Big Ten Conference tournaments and they are two of the four league teams (along with Illinois and Ohio State) to appear in the championship game in two different seasons. Michigan won the inaugural event in 1998, Ohio State won in 2002 and Illinois won a year ago.

Michigan State shared the regular season Big Ten title in 2001 and Iowa won the Big Ten Tournament title. MSU won the only regular season meeting (in East Lansing) and the teams did not meet in the post-season tournament. Iowa’s Glen Worley and MSU’s Alan Anderson competed against each other as preps when Anderson’s DeLaSalle team from Minneapolis defeated Iowa City West in Iowa City when Worley was a senior. Anderson was a prep teammate of Iowa football player Derrick Robinson.

Iowa assistant Coach Rich Walker is from Inkster, MI.

The two teams have met five common opponents, all in Big Ten play. Michigan State had defeated Penn State (home), Michigan (home), Northwestern (road) Minnesota (road) and lost at Purdue. Iowa had defeated Purdue (home), Minnesota (road) and Penn State (home) and lost to Northwestern (home) and Michigan (road).

Iowa travels to face Indiana Saturday. Feb. 7 (3:37 p.m. CT). The Hawkeyes return home to host Wisconsin Wednesday, Feb. 11 (7:05 p.m.) and Michigan Saturday, Feb. 14 (1:34 p.m.).