Hawkeyes to the Power of Three

March 15, 2006

Here’s a tidbit friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes might want to choose to spring on their friends while strolling the golf course or at a neighborhood picnic this summer.

The NCAA’s invitation to Lisa Bluder’s 2005-06 Iowa women’s basketball team Monday evening meant that both of the UI’s basketball teams would be participating in their respective post-season championships for the first time since the 2000-01 season when both Bluder’s squad and Steve Alford’s Hawkeyes earned the Big Ten’s automatic invitations to their respective post-season parties by winning the league’s post-season tournament.

The invitation of Bluder’s Bunch also completed a trifecta that only two other NCAA institutions accomplished this athletics year: Particpation in a January bowl game by its football team paired with participation in the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The Hawkeyes are joined by Big Ten peer Ohio State and Florida on this exclusive list.

As fans of the Hawkeyes know, the Iowa football team played in its fourth straight January bowl game earlier this year when Kirk Ferentz’s squad squared off against Florida in the 2006 Outback Bowl in Tampa.

Steve Alford’s Iowa men’s basketball team entered last week’s Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament already in the field of 65 for the 2006 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, but put a stamp of certainty on its participation in the Big Dance when it ran the table in Indianapolis, defeating the Big Ten’s regular season champion Ohio State in Sunday afternoon’s championship game.

Iowa’s success on the gridiron and basketball court comes at a time when the UI is also laying the foundation for future success in these cornerstone programs. A two-year, $89 million renovation of historic Kinnick Stadium is on schedule to be completed in August and will be unveiled to another sellout crowd of 70,000-plus on Sept. 2 when the Hawkeyes open the 2006 season against Montana in the first of seven home games.

Click HERE to learn about the renovation of Kinnick and review more than 1,000 photos of the project.

The UI is also at the very front end of a process that will ultimately result in a renovation of award-winning Carver-Hawkeye Arena including the construction of a practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball programs and a comprehensive overhaul of the training and conditioning spaces in the home of not only the UI’s basketball teams, but Iowa’s nationally ranked wrestling program and its fast-improving volleyball program.

It’s also worth noting the Iowa is also making significant investments in the future of other varsity sports programs as well including its field hockey, tennis and soccer programs. Each will benefit from the work being done on what is called the “West Campus Project” located immediately west of award-winning Finkbine Golf Course.

Click HERE to learn about that project which is set to be completed mid-summer 2006.

And, finally, the UI Athletic Department is collaborating with University leadership and the UI Recreation Department on the planning of a multi-purpose recreation center to be located on the east side of campus. That facility will eventually be the practice and competition site for the UI’s varsity swimming and diving programs.