March 14, 2004
Coach Steve Alford’s Iowa Hawkeyes will square off against Saint Louis University of Conference USA in an opening round game of the 2004 National Invitation Tournament Tuesday at Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. Game time is set for 6:05 p.m. and the contest will be televised by ESPN2.
Iowa holds a 16-12 record following the 79-70 loss to Michigan in the quarter- finals of the Big Ten Conference Tournament last Friday in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes posted a 9-7 record in Big Ten play, earning sole possession of fourth place. The fourth place finish and the nine wins in Big Ten play are bests for Iowa under Alford.
The Hawkeyes are making their fourth straight post-season appearance and have enjoyed four consecutive winning seasons under Alford, Iowa’s head coach for the past five years. Iowa advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and competed in the NIT in both 2002 and 2003.
The Hawkeyes enter post-season play having not lost back-to-back games during the recently completed Big Ten campaign. Iowa was the only team in the league that did not lose a game to a league opponent with a sub-.500 record. The Hawkeyes won four road games in league play, third best among Big Ten teams.
Saint Louis posted an 18-12 overall record, including a 9-7 league mark. The Billikens defeated Southern Mississippi 52-46 and Memphis 72-61 in the Conference USA tournament before falling to Cincinnati 66-46. Saint Louis also has wins over Butler, Dayton, UNC-Charlotte, Marquette and DePaul.
The winner of the Iowa at Saint Louis contest will meet the winner of the Purdue at Notre Dame game at a site and date still to be determined.