MBB Preview -- at Northwestern


OPPONENT Iowa (17-12, 9-9) at Northwestern (20-8, 11-6)
LOCATION Welsh-Ryan Arena | Evanston, Ill.
DATE Saturday, March 2
TIP-OFF 4:31 p.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Radio Network


The University of Iowa men’s basketball team heads to Evanston, Illinois, for its final regular season road game on Saturday at Northwestern. The game will tipoff at 4:31 p.m. (CT) from Welsh-Ryan Arena.


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 Brian Butch (color) on the call.


• The Hawkeyes head to Evanston to face Northwestern in the only matchup between the two schools during the regular season. Iowa has won three of its last four games and is 5-3 since the calendar turned to February.
• Iowa 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 eight Quad 1 & 2 wins this season with two Quad 1 opportunities remaining.
• A win Saturday in Evanston would give Iowa at least 10 Big Ten victories for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. It would put Iowa above .500 in league play for the first time this season.
• Junior Payton Sandfort posted the first triple-double in program history, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks in a win over Penn State on Feb. 27. It was the first 25-10-10-3 game in regulation since Marquette’s Dwyane Wade did so against top-ranked Kentucky in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
• Iowa is the only Division I school in the last 25 years to have a 25-point triple-double by a women’s player (Caitlin Clark) and men’s player (Payton) in the same season.
• The Hawkeyes have three players — Sandfort, Tony Perkins and Brock Harding — have at least 10 assists in a game this season.
• Sophomore Josh Dix has posted back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career. He has made 17-of-25 field goals (68 percent) in games against Illinois and Penn State.
• 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.
• 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 fifth-most by a freshman nationally. They are the most by a Hawkeye freshman since Melsahn Basabe (6) in 2010-11.
• Perkins is currently one of three players nationally with 425+ points, 130+ rebounds, 120+ assists and 50+ steals. He ranks in the top 15 in the Big Ten in points, assists and steals.
• Sandfort is leading the Big Ten with 74 3-point field goals on a league-high 203 attempts. He also is second in the Big Ten with a 36.5 3-point field goal percentage. The forward has hit two or more 3-pointers in 23 games.
• 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 Wildcats, who are receiving votes in both polls, have won three straight games and five of their last six to improve to 20-8 overall and 11-6 in Big Ten play. Northwestern is currently third in the league standings.
  • Northwestern is 8-0 at home in Big Ten play and 14-1 overall. The Wildcats’ lone loss came against Chicago State, 75-73, on Dec. 13.
  • Guard Boo Buie, who recently became Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer with 2,062 career points, paces the Wildcats with an 18.6 scoring average to rank fourth in the league. He also leads the team and is third in the Big Ten with 66 3-pointers, shooting 41 percent, and averages 5.2 assists (fourth in the B1G).
  • Brooks Barnhizer averages 14.3 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds with seven double-doubles, while Ryan Langborg adds 12.5 points.
  • Buie (36:23) and Barnhizer (36:08) are Nos. 1-2 in the Big Ten in minutes played; Langborg averages 33.2 minutes per game.
  • Guard Ty Berry (11.6 points) was injured on Feb. 7 against Nebraska and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • The Wildcats are second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (39 percent) and fourth in 3-point makes, averaging 8.2 per game.
  • Northwestern leads the league and ranks sixth nationally, averaging nine turnovers per game and the Wildcats have the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75) to in the league (sixth nationally).


  • Saturday’s game is the 186th meeting in the all-time series that began in 1905 in Evanston. The Hawkeyes lead, 124-61.
  • The Wildcats snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series with an 80-60 win on Feb. 19, 2023, in Evanston. It was Northwestern’s first win in the series since 2017.
  • Iowa has won 16 of the last 20 meetings against the Wildcats dating back to 2013. Three of NU’s wins came in Evanston, the fourth came at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
  • Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery is 16-8 all-time against Northwestern.



The Hawkeyes salvaged the season split against the Nittany Lions with a 90-81 victory on Tuesday night in Iowa City. Iowa had four players reach double figures in the game, had 22 assists on 25 field goals, made 32-of-37 free throws and eight 3-pointers (the most since Jan. 27 at Michigan) in the victory.
• Junior Payton Sandfort had the first triple-double in program history, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with three blocks. He went 18-of-19 from the free throw line.
• Sophomore Josh Dix finished with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while Owen Freeman (11 points) and Tony Perkins (10 points) also landed in double figures.


  • Sophomore Dasonte Bowen will miss the remainder of the season because of injury. The guard will have season-ending knee surgery.
  • The Hawkeyes are 31st nationally in pace of play in 2023-24, averaging 74.3 possessions per 40 minutes. Iowa is second in the Big Ten and 23rd in the country, averaging 14.38 fastbreak points per contest.
  • Iowa is 3-8 in Quad 1 games, 5-3 in Quad 2, 3-1 in Quad 3 and 6-0 in Quad 4 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes have led in the second half in seven of their nine Big Ten losses.
  • Iowa has played the 22nd best strength of schedule in the nation.
  • The Hawkeyes have the second-best team field goal percentage in the Big Ten at 47.9 percent, which ranks 28th nationally.
  • Iowa is one the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 83.7 points in 29 games. The Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten and rank 14th nationally. The team has scored at least 84 points in 17 games, averaging 91.6 points in wins and 72.6 points in losses.
  • The Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten and rank 11th nationally, averaging 17.6 assists per game. Iowa is leading the Big Ten and rank fourth nationally with a 1.78 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Senior Tony Perkins has started 76 consecutive games dating back to the 2021-22 season.
  • Iowa has played six games decided by seven or fewer points this season (4-2 record).
  • Iowa is 12-3 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 15 in the Big Ten in scoring — Sandfort (12th, 15.7) and Perkins (15th, 15.1).
  • Since joining the starting lineup on Dec. 10 against Michigan, freshman Owen Freeman is averaging 11.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, while shooting 64.5 percent from the field. Iowa is 12-8 with Freeman in the starting lineup.
  • 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 11-2 when attempting at least 20 free throws, 12-2 when shooting 50+ percent from the field and 8-1 when making eight or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa has had at least four players reach double digits in 18 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes are 12-3 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and 26-6 in its last 32 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 10 games with at least five assists. He is leading the team with 122 assists against 53 turnovers.
  • The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten and rank 12th nationally in free throw percentage, making 78.5 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 made 18-of-19 free throws against Penn State — the most makes and attempts since Peter Jok (22-of-23) vs. Indiana in 2016-17. Sandfort made 16 consecutive free throws after missing his third attempt in the first half, which are the most consecutive makes in a single game in program history.
  • Sandfort is leading the Big Ten and ranks ninth nationally, making 91.3 percent (60-of-66) of his attempts this season.
  • Sandfort has been Iowa’s leading rebounder (or tied for the team lead) in 10 games this season. The forward is averaging a career-best 6.6 rebounds per game, which ranks 12th 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.
  • Iowa is one of 10 teams in the country to make the last four NCAA Tournaments and one of only three Big Ten teams to accomplish the feat (Purdue, Michigan State).
  • 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.


Junior Payton Sandfort grabbed an Ace Baldwin, Jr., missed free throw with 21 seconds remaining to secure his 10th rebound, giving the forward the first triple-double in Iowa men’s basketball history on Feb. 27 against Penn State. He finished the game with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks. He made just 3-of-11 field goals (2-of-7 from deep), but went 18-of-19 from the free throw line, including a school-record 16 consecutive makes.
• It is the first triple double in the Big Ten this season and one of 31 nationally.
• The statline is the first by a Division I player with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks since Dwyane Wade (Marquette) did so against top-ranked Kentucky in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
• Iowa is the only Division I school in the last 25 years to have a 25-point triple-double by a women’s player (Caitlin Clark) and men’s player in the same season.
• The Hawkeyes have had three players post points-assists double-doubles this season (Tony Perkins, Brock Harding). Sandfort’s is the 11th in school history and he’s the 23rd Hawkeye with a 10 assist game.


Senior Tony Perkins is averaging a team-best 16.5 points, 4.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals in Big Ten play. The guard is shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 81.9 percent from the charity stripe.
• During a five-game stretch where he scored 20+ points in five straight games, Perkins averaged 22 points, four assists, 3.6 assists and 2.2 steals, while committing just six turnovers. He is shot 54.3 percent from the floor and 86.1 percent from the free throw stripe.
• He scored 20+ points in five straight games for the first time in his career. It was the first by a Hawkeye since Keegan Murray during the 2021-22 season.
• Perkins was the first Hawkeye guard to have five straight 20-point games since Devyn Marble in 2014.
• The Indianapolis native has scored in double figures in 16 of 18 Big Ten games with six 20-point contests and 11 15+ games. He has seven games with three or more steals against league opponents.
• Overall, Perkins has been in double figures in 25 of 29 games this season. He had a stretch of 15 straight games in double digits from Dec. 10 to Feb. 11.


Owen Freeman has been the best freshman in the Big Ten. The Illinois native leads the conference in rebounds (189), blocks (51) and steals (29), while ranking second in scoring (313) and field goal percentage (.640).
• Freeman’s five double-doubles are the most by a freshman in the conference, tied for the fifth most by a freshman in the nation and tied for the seventh most in the Big Ten (all players).
• Freeman’s 51 blocks are tied for the second-most by a freshman in the NCAA this season.
• Brock Harding’s 72 assists are the most by a freshman in the Big Ten and his 24 steals are the fifth-most in the league.
• Freeman could become just the second Hawkeye all-time to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Jess Settles earned the honor in 1994.