Iowa No. 8 Seed in Tournament

March 9, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Coach Todd Lickliter’s University of Iowa men’s basketball team is the No. 8 seed in the 2008 Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament and will play No. 9 seed Michigan Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The game will tip shortly after 11 a.m. (Iowa time) and will be televised live by Big Ten Network..

Iowa and Michigan played twice during the Big Ten’s 2008 regular season with the visiting team winning each contest. The Hawkeyes grabbed a 68-60 victory on Jan. 19 in Ann Arbor, Mich., thanks to a flurry of free throws in the game’s final minutes.

The Wolverines returned the favor with an eight-point road victory of their own – by a 60-52 score – in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 14. The winner of the Iowa-Michigan game will play Wisconsin, the Big Ten’s regular season champion and the tournament’s No. 1 seed, on Friday at 11 a.m. (Iowa time) in a game that will be televised live by ESPN.

Iowa won the Big Ten Tournament in 2001 and 2006.

The Hawkeyes closed the regular season March 4 with a 67-62 win at Northwestern, completing the regular season with a 13-18 record under Coach Todd Lickliter.

Wisconsin, Purdue and Indiana earned the top three seeds, respectively, as the Badgers won the regular season title by one game over the Boilermakers. Those three teams will play Friday against Thursday’s winners, while Michigan State (fourth seed) and Ohio State (fifth) also meet Friday.

Additional games on Thursday’s schedule include Penn State vs. Illinois at 1:30 p.m. CT and Minnesota vs.Northwestern at 4 p.m. CT.

Iowa is the eighth seed in the tournament for the first time and will be meeting Michigan in the event for the third time. Michigan, as the fourth seed, scored a 77-66 over fifth-seeded Iowa in the 1998 tournament at the United Center in Chicago. The Wolverines won that initial Big Ten Tournament, but later vacated their records in the event. Fifth-seeded Michigan defeated fourth-seeded Iowa 79-70 in the 2004 event at Conseco Fieldhouse.

After losing in the quarter-finals in 2004, Iowa returned to Indianapolis for the 2006 tournament as the second seed and claimed the title with consecutive wins over Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State. Iowa holds an all-time record of 7-2 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Iowa holds a 13-8 (.619) overall record in the Big Ten Tournament, second only to Illinois (18-8, .692) in wins and winning percentage. Iowa, Illinois and Michigan State lead all teams with two tournament titles. Ohio State is the defending Big Ten Tournament champion, earning the title a year ago in Chicago.

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