Big Game No. 1

March 1, 2004

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Iowa (15-10, 8-6) travels to Northwestern (12-13, 7-7) Wednesday, March 3 for the first of two road games to close out the regular season. Game time is 7:05 p.m. in Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117). Iowa defeated Minnesota 66-62 Saturday in Iowa City, while Northwestern dropped a 66-56 contest at Illinois Saturday. Northwestern defeated Iowa 77-68 Jan. 10 when the teams met in Iowa City.

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 and KYOU Ottumwa. The game can also be seen on cable in Omaha/Council Bluffs, Mason City and Sioux City. Mike Gleason and Shon Morris will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,306 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,374-932 (.596). That includes an 858-303 (.739) record in home games, a 516-629 (.451) record in games away from Iowa City, a 656-643 (.505) mark in Big Ten games and a 264-77 (.774) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa has compiled a 264-77 (.774) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 127-64 (.665) 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 56-22 (.718) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 33-4 (.892) mark in non-conference home games.

Iowa begins the final week of the season with an 8-6 record, standing alone in fourth place. With two games remaining, the Hawkeyes could still finish anywhere from a tie for third to a tie for eighth place. Pairings for the Big Ten Conference Tournament will be released on Sunday, March 7 following the completion of all regular season games.

Having played six games against ranked opponents this season, Steve Alford has posted a 15-23 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 2-4 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, at 25th-ranked Illinois, 88-82, lost 54-52 to 14th-ranked Wisconsin in Iowa City and lost 78-59 to 23rd-ranked Illinois in Iowa City.

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), 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) and 8th-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03). The eight losses to top 10 teams have been once to top-ranked (Duke, 2001-02), 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 once to 10th-ranked (Illinois, 2002).

In the 38 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-7 in home games, 6-7 at neutral sites and 3-9 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

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 244-145 (.627), including an 88-68 (.564) 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 33-45 (.423) 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 5-3 vs. Northwestern and 4-3 against Wildcat Coach Bill Carmody.

Iowa Coach Steve Alford was 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.

Bill Carmody is in his fourth season at Northwestern and his eighth year as a college head coach. Carmody holds a career mark of 143-87, which includes a 51-62 mark at Northwestern. Carmody posted a record of 92-25 in four seasons at Princeton University, where he was a member of the basketball staff for a total of 18 seasons. His record in Ivy League games as the head coach at Princeton was 50-6 and Carmody led Princeton to four straight post-season appearances. Carmody was the head coach at Fulton County (NY) Community College for one season, 1975-76, he was an assistant coach at Union College from 1976-80 and he was an assistant at Providence College for one season before joining the staff at Princeton in 1982. Carmody is 3-4 vs. Iowa and Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Iowa holds a 102-48 advantage over Northwestern in the series that began with a 24-23 Wildcat win in 1905. Iowa won nine straight games in the series before Northwestern has come back to win three of the last seven meetings, including a 77-68 win earlier this season in Iowa City. Iowa has won 19 of the last 23 meetings overall.

Iowa holds a 42-32 advantage in games played in Evanston, but the Wildcats have won two of the last three home games against Iowa. Iowa had won eight straight games in Welsh-Ryan Arena prior to losses in 2001 and 2002. The Hawkeyes scored a 68-63 win in Evanston a year ago.

Northwestern used an 11-1 scoring spurt over the final five minutes of the first half to gain control, and the Wildcats went on to record a 77-68 win in Iowa City Jan. 10. Shooting 52.7% from the field, Northwestern maintained the advantage over the final 25 minutes of the game. Iowa used a pair of three-point baskets, two free throws by Jared Reiner and a basket by Greg Brunner to cut a 15-point deficit to five points with 16 minutes remaining, but Northwestern responded with nine straight points to regain control and Iowa was never closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Along with the 52.7% shooting from the field, Northwestern made 8-20 (40%) three-point attempts and 11-13 (84.6%) free throws. The Wildcats recorded 12 steals while forcing 21 Iowa turnovers.

Iowa shot 47.8% from the field and made 8-18 (44.4%) treys after missing all five three-point attempts in its previous game. The Hawkeyes, however, made just 61.5% (16-26) of their free throws.

Pierre Pierce led Iowa with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jeff Horner added 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals and Brunner scored 11 points.

Northwestern placed four players in double figures, with Vedran Vukusic scoring 22 to lead the way. Mohamed Hachad added 18 points, reserve Davor Duvancic added 14 and T.J. Parker scored 11 points and added five assists.

Iowa closes the regular season at Purdue Saturday, March 6 (3:37 p.m., CT). The Big Ten Conference Tournament is March 11-14 in Indianapolis.