|OPPONENT||Iowa (17-10, 9-7) at Wisconsin (15-11, 7-9)|
|LOCATION||Madison, Wisconsin (Kohl Center)|
|DATE||Wednesday, Feb. 22|
|TIP-OFF||8:07 p.m. (CT)|
|RADIO||Hawkeye Sports Network|
Iowa (17-10, 9-7) will play Wisconsin (15-11, 7-9) on Wednesday night. Tipoff is slated for 8:07 p.m. (CT) at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin will handle the play-by-play, along with color commentator Bob Hansen. The network includes more than 40 stations that blanket the state of Iowa and include portions of Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pregame show.
TV: Wednesday’s game will be televised on Big Ten Network. Kevin Kugler and Robbie Hummel will call the action.
GAME #28 STORYLINES
- Iowa begins this week in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Big Ten standings with Maryland, Rutgers, and Michigan.
- Thursday will be the fourth time in five games that Iowa will be playing a road game.
- After starting league play 0-3, Iowa has won nine of its last 13 games since Jan. 5.
- Iowa has seven Quad 1 wins on its resume, which ties Northwestern for second most in the Big Ten behind Purdue’s nine. Entering this week, the seven Quad 1 wins ties for sixth most in the country.
- In this season’s first meeting on Dec. 11, 2022, Iowa starters Kris Murray and Ahron Ulis did not play due to injury.
- Entering this week’s schedule, Iowa and Michigan have the third most Big Ten regular season wins over the last three seasons (34); Purdue (40) and Illinois (39) rank first and second, respectively.
- Kris Murray and Jalen Wilson of Kansas are the only Division I players in the country to average 20+ points, 8+ rebounds, and have made 50+ 3-pointers this season.
- Connor McCaffery has once again ascended to ranking first in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.7) this season. He also led the nation in the statistic in 2020, boasting a 4.6 ratio. McCaffery dished out a career-high 13 assists (zero turnovers) in Iowa’s win over Ohio State last Thursday. He has amassed 504 career assists, seventh most in program history. McCaffery is 13 assists from tying B.J. Armstrong (517) for sixth place.
- Iowa has made (414) more free throws than its opponents have attempted (358).
- Fran McCaffery (124) is two wins from tying Tom Davis (126) for the most regular season Big Ten victories in program history.
- Filip Rebraca has reached double digits in scoring 19 of 21 games, including netting 15+ points in 10 of Iowa’s last 17. Rebraca is one of nine players nationally to average 13.5+ points, 7.5+ rebounds, 1+ blocks, while shooting 57 percent or better from the field.
- Iowa is tops in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally in scoring offense (80.3). The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring five of the last nine seasons, including the last four.
- Forward Kris Murray’s 21.3 scoring average in conference play (15 games) is third in the league. Murray was tabbed midseason third team All-America by Sporting News and is on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 List. In home games that Murray has played this season, Iowa is 11-0, averaging 22.9 points in those 11 home contests.
- The Hawkeyes are 10-1 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
- Kris Murray has scored 30+ points four times this season (30 vs. Indiana; 32 at Penn State; 31 vs. Georgia Tech; 30 vs. Omaha). He is one of 20 players nationally with four or more 30-point performances. Murray is one of four Hawkeyes to score 30+ at least four times in the Fran McCaffery era joining Luka Garza (13), Keegan Murray (5), and Peter Jok (5).
- Iowa is fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64), 15th in fewest turnovers per game (10.1) and assists per game (16.6), and 25th in fewest fouls per game (14.3).
- Wisconsin (76 NET Ranking) is 15-11 overall and 7-9 in conference play. The Badgers’ most recent game was a narrow home loss to Rutgers, 58-57.
- The Badgers are 8-5 at the Kohl Center, including 4-4 during conference play, this season.
- In league play, 11 of the Badgers 16 contests have been decided in two possessions or less (7-4).
- The Badgers are first in the conference in fewest turnovers per game (1st nationally, 8.7). They are second in both turnover margin (25th nationally, 3.5) and 3-pointers per game (58th nationally, 8.6). Wisconsin is last in the Big Ten in rebounds (31.2) and blocks (1.4) per game.
- Junior forward Steven Crowl is sixth in the Big Ten in defensive rebounds per game (5.92) and seventh in rebounds (191). Crowl leads the squad in blocks (13), field goals made (122), and field goal percentage (48.6).
- Sophomore guard Chucky Hepburn is ranked fourth in the conference in both steals (43) and steals per game (1.65). He leads the team in 3-point percentage (.441), points (324), and assists (74).
- Wisconsin is shooting at 41 percent from the field, 36 percent in the 3-point range, and 66 percent from the free-throw line.
- Greg Gard is in his eighth season at the helm of the Badgers. Gard was the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2022.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS
Wednesday will be the 173rd meeting between Iowa and Wisconsin. The all-time series is tied, 86-86. That record includes a Wisconsin forfeit in 1983.
Fourteen of the last 21 meetings, dating back to 2011, have been decided by seven points or less, including this season’s 78-75 Badger victory in overtime earlier meeting in Iowa City on Dec. 11, 2022.
Wisconsin holds a 54-30 advantage in games played in Madison. The Badgers have won 14 of the last 17 games contested in Madison. Iowa is 5-14 at the Kohl Center, winning there in 2011 (72-65), 2000 (61-55), 1998 (79-76), 2017 (59-57), and 2021 (77-62).
LAST MEETING AGAINST WISCONSIN
Iowa went on an 8-0 run over the last 54 seconds of regulation to force overtime, but Wisconsin ultimately prevailed, 78-75, over Iowa on Dec. 11, 2022, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures: Patrick McCaffery (24), Connor McCaffery (17), Tony Perkins (17), and Filip Rebraca (10). Patrick McCaffery’s 24 points is a career high. He sank a game-tying 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in regulation and scored eight points in overtime.
- Connor McCaffery posted his second double-double of the season, scoring a season-best 15 points and snagging a team-best 10 rebounds. The sixth-year senior was credited with team bests in assists (5) and steals (2) while playing a career-high 41 minutes.
- Kris Murray (19.4 ppg) and Ahron Ulis (6.4 ppg) did not play due to injury. True freshman Dasonte Bowen earned his first career start in Ulis’ absence.
- Iowa shot 82.4 percent from the foul line (14-of-17).
- Wisconsin made its last six field-goal attempts in overtime, including a pair of 3-pointers.
- Tyler Wahl paced the Badgers with 21 points, seven in overtime, Connor Essegian tallied 14 points, while Steven Crowl contributed 12 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
NORTHWESTERN BEATS IOWA IN EVANSTON
Northwestern avenged an earlier season loss to Iowa with an 80-60 triumph over the Hawkeyes Sunday evening at a sold out Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois.
- Sunday’s loss snapped Iowa’s nine-game win streak over Northwestern.
- Three Hawkeyes scored in double figures: Kris Murray (14), Tony Perkins (11), and Filip Rebraca (10).
- Connor McCaffery had five turnovers, zero turnovers, and two points. It marked the fifth time in seven contests that McCaffery had zero turnovers.
- Iowa’s three 3-pointers made equaled a season low, while its 12.5 percent from long distance was a season low. Northwestern (10) made seven more 3-pointers than the Hawkeyes.
- Three Wildcats scored in double figures, led by Boo Buie’s 23 points and eight assists. Ty Berry had 16 points and three assists, while Brooks Barnhizer contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Connor McCaffery is Iowa’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, amassing a 3.68 ratio in 160 career games (504 assists; 137 turnovers), a full point above second-place Andre Banks (2.53). His career ratio is second best in NCAA history behind Iowa State’s Monte Morris (4.65).
His 4.7 assist-to-turnover ratio this season is tops in the nation. Moe Odum of Pacific ranks second (3.34).
McCaffery’s assist-to-turnover ratio last year was 5.0 (did not qualify for national rankings due to not meeting assists per game minimum), while he ranked fourth nationally in 2021 with a 3.73 ratio. In 2020, he led the country with a 4.6 ratio.
Fifth-year senior Filip Rebraca has taken his game to another level this season. Rebraca is one of nine players nationally on a college men’s basketball roster over the age of 25. He ranks first on the squad in blocks (31) and field goal percentage (.573), and second in rebounds (7.8) and points per game (13.8). He is pulling down 2.8 offensive boards per outing, fifth best in the Big Ten and 62nd nationally. His field goal percentage (.573) ranks 39th in the country.
Rebraca netted career point No. 1,500 against Eastern Illinois (Dec. 21). He has scored 581 points the last two seasons as a Hawkeye (63 games) and 1,129 points in three seasons at North Dakota. He grabbed career rebound No. 1,000 in Iowa’s win over Michigan.
The 6-foot-9 center has netted double figures a team-best 22 times this year and posted a team-best nine double-doubles, fourth most in the league. Rebraca has scored in double digits 19 of the last 21 games and netted 15+ points in 10 of the last 17. He has denied multiple shots seven times this season and his 1.17 blocks per game rates ninth in the conference.
Rebraca earned Big Ten Player of the Week accolades after his career night against Southeast Missouri State (Dec. 17). The fifth-year senior posted career bests in points (30) and assists (6), while also snagging a game-best nine rebounds. He only missed one field goal attempt (12-of-13).
Rebraca had another stellar outing versus Eastern Illinois. He tallied a game-best 24 points, collected a career-high five steals, and snagged eight rebounds. He totaled 16 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds at Nebraska, and amassed 19 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa’s triumph over then-No. 15 Indiana. Rebraca posted double-double No. 7 in the overtime win over Michigan (13 points, 12 rebounds).
Payton Sandfort had a sluggish start to the 2022-23 Big Ten season. The sophomore guard was 0-for-19 from the field, including 0-for-10 from 3-point range, over Iowa’s first three Big Ten games (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State).
Over the last 13 games, Sandfort is averaging 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds, shooting 45 percent from the field and 43 percent from long distance. He sank four 3-pointers in two games: Rutgers (4-of-5) and Michigan (4-of-9). He made a personal-best five 3-pointers against Northwestern (5-of-7). Sandfort has netted double figures in eight of the last 17 games. Iowa is 9-3 when Sandfort makes multiple triples in a game.
Sandfort makes a positive impact when he is on the floor. The sophomore guard has had positive double digit +/- in five of the last six home games: +21 (Illinois); +18 (Northwestern); +14 (Rutgers); +12 Maryland; +16 (Michigan).
Sandfort was instrumental in Iowa’s overtime victory over the Wolverines on Jan. 12. He scored Iowa’s final seven points of regulation (63 seconds), including a four-point play with 20 seconds remaining to force overtime. Sandfort tallied 24 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and overtime. He totaled seven points and matched a personal best with eight rebounds in Iowa’s home win over Rutgers. Sandfort was a team-best +18 in Iowa’s victory over the Wildcats, scoring 20 points, bolstered by making 5-of-7 from long distance. He led all players with a +21, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds, in Iowa’s two-point home triumph over Illinois.
Off the court, Sandfort excels in the classroom earning Fall Semester Dean’s List distinction in 2022.
MURRAY NAMED TO WATCH LISTS
Junior Kris Murray has been named to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, Oscar Robertson Midseason Watch List, Naismith POY Midseason Team, a Karl Malone Award semifinalist, midseason third team All-America by Sporting News, and the Big Ten Preseason All-Big Ten Team.
It marks the fourth straight season that one or more Hawkeyes have been selected to the preseason all-conference squad. Joe Wieskamp was selected in 2019 and 2020, Luka Garza was tabbed the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year in 2020, while Kris’ twin brother Keegan was recognized in 2021. Keegan was also the recipient of the 2022 Karl Malone Award.
Murray and Jalen Wilson of Kansas are the only Division I players in the country to average 20+ points, 8+ rebounds, and have made 50+ 3-pointers this season.
Murray is averaging a team-best 20.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per outing. Murray has increased his scoring average by 12 points per game this season compared to last year. His 20.7 points per contest ranks 17th nationally. Murray did not play in four contests in December (Iowa State; Wisconsin; Southeast Missouri State; Eastern Illinois) due to a lower body injury.
Murray was named the ESPN Men’s Basketball National Player of the Week and Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 5. He amassed 31 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, and two blocks in Iowa’s win over Georgia Tech. He is the first Hawkeye to amass 30 points and 20 rebounds in the same game since Bruce King in 1977. Murray is also the only NBA, WNBA, or Division I men’s or women’s player in the last 20 years to total 30+ points, 20+ rebounds, 4+ assists, 4+ 3-pointers, and 2+ blocks in the same game.
Murray returned to the lineup on Dec. 29 at Nebraska, registering game bests in points (17) and blocks (3), while also clearing eight rebounds. He scored a career-best 32 points at Penn State on Jan. 1. Murray totaled 30 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa’s victory over No. 15 Indiana on Jan. 5. He amassed 17 points and seven rebounds in Iowa’s road triumph at Rutgers. Murray played all 45 minutes in Iowa’s triumph over Michigan, amassing 27 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, three assists, and a steal. He netted 17 of his 19 points in the second half in the win over Maryland. Murray netted a game-best 24 points in the home win over Rutgers and game bests in points (28) and rebounds (14) at Minnesota this past Sunday.
He was Iowa’s leading scorer (9.7) and rebounder (4.3) off the bench last season. The native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was second on the team in 3-point percentage (.397), blocks per game (0.9) and field goals made (124), third in offensive (1.6) and defensive (2.7) rebounds per contest, and fourth in steals (0.8) per game. Murray made at least one 3-pointer in a team-best 17 consecutive games (Jan. 22-March 13). His 31 blocks and 43 triples rank seventh and eighth, respectively, by a Hawkeye sophomore.
Iowa has had a number of players miss games this season due health reasons. Below is the list of players and games missed.
Tony Perkins: Omaha (thigh)
Riley Mulvey: Georgia Tech, Duke (illness)
Kris Murray: Iowa State, Wisconsin, SEMO, Eastern Illinois (lower body)
Ahron Ulis: Wisconsin (hip contusion)
Connor McCaffery: Eastern Illinois (wrist)
Josh Ogundele: PSU, IND, RUT, MICH, UMD, OSU, MSU, RUT, NW, ILL (knee)
Patrick McCaffery: Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan State (anxiety)
Iowa posted its third-largest comeback in school history when it rallied to beat No. 15 Indiana (91-89) on Jan. 5, in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes trailed by 21 points (28-7) early in the first half. Iowa caught the Hoosiers and took their first lead with 11:35 remaining in the second half.
Iowa’s two largest comebacks were 23 points against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 17, 2022, and 22 points at Illinois on Jan. 14, 1987.
The Hawkeyes rallied from a 10-point second half deficit, including trailing by seven with under two minutes left in regulation, to upend Michigan in overtime on Jan. 12 in Iowa City.
Iowa has had a player average 20+ points per game each of the last three seasons, which is a program best. Luka Garza averaged 23.9 in 2020 and 24.1 in 2021, while Keegan Murray averaged 23.5 in 2022.
Kris Murray, twin brother of Keegan, is currently averaging 20.7 points per game. If he continues his scoring pace, the Hawkeyes will have a player average 20+ four consecutive years.
ANOTHER SIXTH-YEAR PLAYER
Connor McCaffery returned for his COVID bonus year and sixth season. He has played in 160 career games, second to only Jordan Bohannon (179) in program history. McCaffery has played in 109 games in which Iowa has won, second most in school history behind Jordan Bohannon (111).
McCaffery is averaging 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, and is shooting 36 percent (33-of-93) from 3-point range this year. He posted 14 points, bolstered by shooting a perfect 8-of-8 from the foul line, in his first start of the season against the Cyclones. He registered his first career double-double versus Georgia Tech (10 points; 10 rebounds) and notched his second double-double versus Wisconsin (17 points, 10 rebounds). McCaffery dished out eight assists (only one turnover) in Iowa’s win at Rutgers. He tied a season high with 10 rebounds in the win at Minnesota last Sunday, and followed up that performance with seven points, six rebounds, and a career-high 13 assists (zero turnovers) in Iowa’s double-digit win over Ohio State last Thursday.
He is tops in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.7). McCaffery has had zero turnovers in five of Iowa’s last seven outings.
McCaffery has only missed three free throws this season (39-of-42). He made 19 consecutive free throws from Nov. 29 to Dec. 29, before missing his first and only attempt at Penn State on Jan. 1, 2023.
FRAN MCCAFFERY CONTINUES TO WIN
- With Iowa’s Big Ten Tournament win last March, McCaffery joined Hall of Fame coaches Rick Pitino, Bob Huggins, Eddie Sutton and Lefty Driesell as the only Division I coaches to lead teams to conference tournament titles in four or more different leagues.
- Fran McCaffery has guided Iowa to 20 wins or more in eight of the last 10 seasons. He has led Iowa to Big Ten upper division finishes nine of the last 10 years. Iowa, Michigan State, and Wisconsin have each recorded a Big Ten-best nine first division finishes since 2013.
- Fran McCaffery has coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree seven of the last nine seasons. He has guided Iowa to 20+ wins seven of the last nine seasons and fifth place or better finishes in the Big Ten six of the last eight years.
A number of recent Iowa basketball graduates are playing professionally: Keegan Murray (NBA Sacramento Kings), Luka Garza (G League Iowa Wolves), Jordan Bohannon (G League Iowa Wolves), Joe Wieskamp (NBA Toronto Raptors), Jarrod Uthoff (Japan), Devyn Marble (Poland), Tyler Cook (G League Salt Lake City Stars), Anthony Clemmons (Turkey), Gabriel Olaseni (Turkey), Ryan Kriener (Matsuyama), Melsahn Basabe (Nicaragua), and Aaron White (Serbia).