Sept. 5, 2005
An attractive home slate that includes non-conference games vs. North Carolina State and Arizona State highlights Iowa’s 2005-06 men’s basketball schedule. The schedule includes as many as 11 national television appearances.
Iowa will play in an exempt tournament for the second straight year, taking part in the Guardians Classic. Colgate will face Utah Valley State and Iowa will host Maryland-Eastern Shore in first round games Nov. 14-15 in Iowa City. The semi-finals of the event will be held in Kansas City Nov. 21-22. Other teams hosting first round games include Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas. Iowa placed second in the 2002 Guardians Classic.
Iowa placed second in the EA Sports Maui Classic a year ago, defeating two straight ranked opponents (Louisville and Texas) before a loss to North Carolina, the eventual national champion, in the title game.
North Carolina State visits Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 30 as the Hawkeyes return to the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Iowa has not taken part in that event the last two seasons and has not hosted an Atlantic Coast Conference team since Georgia Tech visited during the 2003 NIT. The Wolfpack return three starters from a team that won 21 games and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season.
The Hawkeyes will again host their own tournament on Dec. 2-3, with Tulane meeting Valparaiso in Friday’s first game prior to Iowa facing Fairfield. The Hawkeyes host Arizona State Dec. 17 and in-state rival Drake Dec. 20. Other non-conference home opponents include Texas-San Antonio (Nov. 26) and Robert Morris (Dec. 22).
“The strength of our schedule played a key role in our selection to the NCAA Tournament last year,” said Iowa Coach Steve Alford. “This schedule is likely more difficult. It is an advantage to have the additional non-conference games, due to the exempt tournament, which could add as many as four games. With the caliber of teams on the non-conference schedule, we should certainly be tested and prepared for Big Ten play.”
Along with the possibility of playing two games in Kansas City, Iowa will play non-conference road games at Northern Iowa (Dec. 6), Iowa State (Dec. 9) and Saint Louis (Dec. 30). The Hawkeyes could play as many as six non-conference games against NCAA participants from last season. The schedule includes opponents from Conference USA, Atlantic Coast, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Missouri Valley, Pac 10 and Southeastern Conferences.
Iowa opens the Big Ten portion of its schedule Jan. 5 at Wisconsin before hosting defending league champion Illinois Saturday, Jan. 7. Additional Saturday home games in Big Ten play include Ohio State Jan. 28, Michigan Feb. 4 and Wisconsin March 4 to end the regular season.
The 16-game league schedule includes single games with Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue, with Iowa traveling to Northwestern and Purdue and hosting the Buckeyes and Wolverines. The Big Ten Conference Tournament returns to Indianapolis March 9-12.
“The Big Ten, to me, will be the strongest it has been in my seven years at Iowa,” added Alford. “Each team feels it is going to be improved. I think that will make for a very, very challenging Big Ten season.”
Iowa’s first public appearance is Saturday Oct. 22 at the annual Black and Gold Blowout. Exhibition games are scheduled Nov. 3 vs. Brock University of Canada and Nov. 9 vs. Wartburg. The Knights are coached by former Hawkeye Dick Peth.