MBB Preview -- at No. 12 Illinois


OPPONENT  Iowa (16-11, 8-8) at No. 12 Illinois (19-7, 10-5)
LOCATION State Farm Center | Champaign, Ill.
DATE Saturday, Feb. 24
TIP-OFF 1:17 p.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Radio Network


The University of Iowa men’s basketball team continues on the road, heading to Champaign to face No. 12 Illinois on Saturday. The game will tipoff at 1:17 p.m. (CT) at the State Farm Center.
• Iowa and Illinois will face off against one another twice in a 15-day stretch, as the Hawkeyes host the Illini on March 10 in the regular season finale.


Radio: Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network with Gary Dolphin (play-by-play) and Bobby Hansen (color) on the call. 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 includes a 60-minute pregame show.
TV: Saturday’s game will be televised on BTN with Connor Onion (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (color) on the call.


• The Hawkeyes continue on the road, traveling to Champaign to face No. 12 Illinois on Saturday. Iowa is looking for its first win at the State Farm Center since 2018 and its second ranked victory in seven days.
• Iowa has posted back-to-back Quad 1 victories — beating No. 20 Wisconsin on Feb. 17 in Iowa City and (RV) Michigan State on the road on Feb. 20. The Hawkeyes have three Quad 1 games remaining over its final four contests.
• The Hawkeyes are 34-14 in February since 2018, posting a 70.8 winning percentage.
• Iowa has won back-to-back games for the first time since winning three straight from Jan. 6-15. The Hawkeyes are 8-8 in the Big Ten, sitting at .500 for the first time since Jan. 15 (3-3).
• Before breaking through in East Lansing, Iowa had led in the second half in each of its last three road losses — at Indiana (68-66 with 1:42 left), at Penn State (63-56 with 8:38 to play) and at Maryland (54-44 with 12:09 remaining).
• Graduate Ben Krikke tallied his third double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points and a season-high 14 rebounds — one off his career high — in the road win at Michigan State. He made 7-of-11 field goals in the game.
• Junior Payton Sandfort had his seventh 20-point game, netting 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting in East Lansing. Sandfort now leads the team with a 15.5 scoring average.
• Freshman Owen Freeman finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds, a career-high six assists and four blocks in Iowa’s overtime win over No. 20/21 Wisconsin. It is the only game with at least 20-12-6-4 in the nation this season and one of eight since 2010-11.
• It was Freeman’s fifth double-double — the most by a Big Ten freshman and tied for the fourth-most by a freshman nationally. They are the most by a Hawkeye freshman since Melsahn Basabe (6) in 2010-11. Freeman is one of two Power 6 freshman with five double-doubles.
• Senior Tony Perkins is currently the only player in the Big Ten, one of two from a Power 6 Conference and one of five nationally with 400+ points, 100+ assists, 100+ rebounds and 45+ steals. He ranks in the top nine in the Big Ten in points, assists and steals.
• Senior Patrick McCaffery scored 14 points at Michigan State, moving him within nine points of becoming Iowa’s 53rd 1,000 point scorer in program history.
• Sandfort has a Big Ten-best 72 3-point field goals on a league-high 194 attempts, while ranking second in the Big Ten with a 37.1 3-point field goal percentage. The forward has hit two or more 3-pointers in 22 games.
• Head coach Fran McCaffery is the winningest coach in program history, winning 277 career games, including 134 Big Ten victories.
• Freeman earned his ninth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 19 after averaging 12.5 points and 10 rebounds against Maryland and Wisconsin. The nine honors are the second-most in league history, trailing only Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (12).



  • The Illini blew a 10-point lead with 2:30 to play, falling 90-89 at Penn State on Wednesday. Illinois scored two points over the final 2 1/2 minutes.
  • The loss drops the Illini’s record to 19-7 overall and 10-5 in the Big Ten. Illinois is 2-2 in its last four games, including a road loss at Michigan State.
  • Illinois has four players averaging in double figures with Terrence Shannon, Jr., leading the way with a 22.1 scoring average, which is sixth nationally. Shannon scored 35 points, making 10-of-18 field goals and 13-of-19 free throws in Happy Valley.
  • SIU transfer Marcus Domask averages 15.5 points and has a team-high 90 assists; Coleman Hawkins scores 12.3 points and grabs 6.1 rebounds and Quincy Guerrier averages 10.4 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
  • Illinois is leading the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally, averaging 42.42 rebounds per game. The Illini pull down 13.04 offensive rebounds to lead the league and have a +9.3 rebounding margin — eighth-best in the nation.
  • The Illini average 8.5 3-point field goals per game on 24.7 3-point attempts.


  • Saturday’s game is the 168th meeting in the all-time series that began in 1908. Illinois holds a 90-77 advantage.
  • The Hawkeyes won the most recent meeting, winning 81-79 on Feb. 24, 2023, in Iowa City. The victory snapped a five-game Illini winning streak.
  • Iowa is 11-9 against Illinois in the last 20 meetings dating back to 2012.
  • The Hawkeyes’ last win in the State Farm Center came on Jan. 11, 2018, winning 104-87 in overtime.



The Hawkeyes posted their second straight Quad 1 victory, downing Michigan State, 78-71, on Feb. 20 in East Lansing. It was Iowa’s fifth win in the last six games against the Spartans and it snapped Michigan State’s nine-game home winning streak.
• Iowa used a 15-1 run to take control in the first half, led by 12 (45-33) at the break and by as many as 16 points in the second half.
• Junior Payton Sandfort led all scorers with 22 points, making 7-of-15 field goals, graduate Ben Krikke scored 18 points and had a season-high 14 rebounds and senior Patrick McCaffery finished with 14 points, including 12 in the first half.
• Iowa shot 50.9 percent, made 18-of-23 free throws, won the rebounding battle, 35-34, and committed just six turnovers to win for the second time in the last three games at the Breslin Center.


  • The Hawkeyes are 39th nationally in pace of play in 2023-24, averaging 74.2 possessions per 40 minutes. Iowa is second in the Big Ten and 22nd in the country, averaging 14.67 fastbreak points per contest.
  • Brock Harding’s older brother, Brody, is a starting infielder on the Illinois baseball team.
  • Iowa is 2-7 in Quad 1 games, 5-3 in Quad 2, 2-1 in Quad 3 and 7-0 in Quad 4 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes have played the 23rd best strength of schedule in the nation.
  • Iowa is one the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 83.4 points in 27 games. The Hawkeyes are second in the Big Ten and rank 16th nationally. The team has scored at least 84 points in 15 games, averaging 91.7 points in wins and 71.5 points in losses.
  • The Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten and rank 13th nationally, averaging 17.6 assists per game. Iowa is leading the Big Ten and rank third nationally with a 1.80 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Senior Tony Perkins has started 74 consecutive games dating back to the 2021-22 season.
  • The Hawkeyes have shot 50 percent or better from the field in five of the last eight games. Iowa is 12-2 this season when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor.
  • Iowa has played six games decided by seven or fewer points this season (4-2 record).
  • Iowa is 11-3 at home this season, marking the sixth straight year the Hawkeyes have won at least 10 games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has won at least 10 home games in 12 of head coach Fran McCaffery’s 14 seasons.
  • The Hawkeyes have had six players hit the 20-point mark this season (Ben Krikke, Tony Perkins, Payton Sandfort, Patrick McCaffery, Owen Freeman and Josh Dix).
  • Iowa has two players ranked in the top 14 in the Big Ten in scoring — Sandfort (13th, 15.5) and Perkins (14th, 15.2).
  • Since joining the starting lineup on Dec. 10 against Michigan, freshman Owen Freeman is averaging 11.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, while shooting 66.1 percent from the field.
  • Ahoy 100. Iowa has reached the century mark in four games this season. The Hawkeyes have scored 100+ points 13 times since the start of the 2021-22 season.
  • The team is 10-1 when attempting at least 20 free throws, 12-2 when shooting 50+ percent from the field and 7-1 when making eight or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa has had at least four players reach double digits in 16 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes are 11-3 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and 25-6 in its last 30 home games.
  • Iowa has won 89 of its last 95 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
  • The Hawkeyes have held four opponents under 40 percent shooting this season. The team is undefeated in the four contests.
  • Iowa held Florida A&M to 52 points on Dec. 16 in Des Moines — the fewest points allowed since giving up 51 points to Portland State in 2021.
  • Senior Tony Perkins has five games with seven or more assists this season and nine games with at least five assists. He is leading the team with 113 assists against 46 turnovers.
  • The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten and rank 15th nationally in free throw percentage, making 77.8 percent of their attempts this season. The team tied a single game free throw percentage (min. 13 makes) school record, making all 18 of its free throw attempts at Michigan on Jan. 27.
  • Sandfort has been Iowa’s leading rebounder (or tied for the team lead) in nine games this season. The forward is averaging a career-best 6.4 rebounds per game, which ranks 13th in the Big Ten.
  • The Hawkeyes have earned 10 Big Ten weekly honors this season — Ben Krikke (Player of the Week – 11/20) and Owen Freeman (Freshman of Week (11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/18, 1/8, 1/15, 1/29, 2/12, 2/19). Freeman is the first Hawkeye freshman to earn the award in consecutive weeks and the nine honors are a single season school record and the second-most in league history.
  • Iowa has placed fifth or better in the Big Ten standings in five straight and 10 of the last 11 years, and the program has won 10 or more Big Ten games in eight of the last nine seasons.
  • The Hawkeyes have led the Big Ten and was 18th nationally in scoring offense (80.1). Iowa has led the league in scoring in seven of the last 11 seasons, including six straight years.


Senior Tony Perkins is an all-around guard, leading the team in points, assists and steals. The Indianapolis native is also an all-time Hawkeye as he is one of eight players all-time to have 1,000+ points, 350+ rebounds, 265+ assists and 125+ steals.
• Perkins is among a group that includes: Roy Marble, Jordan Bohannon, Devyn Marble, Matt Gatens, Jess Settles, Dean Oliver and Jeff Horner.
• Perkins is currently leading the Hawkeyes in assists and steals, while ranking second in points. He would be the first player since Oliver in 2000 to lead the team in all three categories.


Freshman Owen Freeman displayed his versatility in Iowa’s 88-86 overtime victory over No. 20/21 Wisconsin on Feb. 17. The forward finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four blocks (and two steals), becoming the first player in the nation with at least 20-12-6-4 in a game this season.
• Freeman is one of eight players since 2010-11 to post at least 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. Three of those players resided in the Big Ten — Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Purdue’s Trevion Williams.
• He is one of three freshman from a major conference to post the stat line since 2000.
• Freeman had a stellar game in the win over Minnesota, finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. He’s one of two players nationally to have at least 17-14-4-4 this season.


• Senior Tony Perkins became the 52nd player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points on Jan. 27 at Michigan. Perkins currently has 1,110 points as a Hawkeye, ranking 40th all-time.
• Senior Patrick McCaffery has scored 991 career points. He needs nine points to become Iowa’s 53rd member of the 1,000 point club.
• Junior Payton Sandfort has scored 929 career points as a Hawkeye. He is just 71 points shy of becoming the 54th member of the 1,000 point club.
• Graduate Ben Krikke has scored 1,980 points during his five-year collegiate career. He is 20 points shy of reaching 2,000 career points.


• Senior Tony Perkins became the 52nd player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points on Jan. 27 at Michigan. Perkins currently has 1,102 points as a Hawkeye, ranking 39th all-time.
• Senior Patrick McCaffery has scored 977 career points. He needs 23 points to become Iowa’s 53rd member of the 1,000 point club.
• Graduate Ben Krikke has scored 1,962 points during his five-year collegiate career. He is 38 points shy of reaching 2,000 career points.