MBB Preview -- Ohio State -- Big Ten Tournament


OPPONENT No. 7 Iowa (18-13) vs. No. 10 Ohio State (19-12)
LOCATION Target Center | Minneapolis
DATE Thursday, March 14
TIP-OFF 5:30 p.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Radio Network


The seventh-seeded University of Iowa men’s basketball team opens play at the TIAA Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis on Thursday against No. 10 seed Ohio State. The game will tipoff at 5:30 p.m. (CT) inside the Target Center.
• The winner of the game would advanced to face second-seeded Illinois on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.


Radio: Thursday’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: Thursday’s game will be televised on BTN with Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Stephen Bardo (color) and Andy Katz (sideline) on the call.


  • The Hawkeyes enter the TIAA Big Ten Tournament as the No. 7 seed where they will face 10th-seeded Ohio State on Thursday in Minneapolis. It is the second straight year Iowa has faced the Buckeyes in the tournament’s second round.
  • Iowa has posted three Quad 1 wins over its last six games — No. 20 Wisconsin, (RV) at Michigan State and (RV) at Northwestern. The Hawkeyes have eight Quad 1 & 2 wins this season.
  • The Hawkeyes have won 10 or more Big Ten games in a school record six consecutive seasons. Iowa has won 10+ Big Ten games in nine of the last 10 seasons under head coach Fran McCaffery. Iowa has 11 Big Ten upper division finishes in the last 12 years.
  • Iowa had all five starters garner All-Big Ten recognition. Owen Freeman became the second player in school history to be named the league’s Freshman of the Year, while Tony Perkins earned second-team honors and Payton Sandfort was a third-teamer.
  • Perkins had 14 assists in Iowa’s road win at Northwestern. He is one of two players in the Big Ten this century to record 14+ assists in multiple games, joining Ohio State’s Shannon Scott (2014-15).
  • Iowa had four 14+ assist games in its history entering the 2023-24 season; Perkins has two of them since Jan. 12.
  • 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 (Sandfort) in the same season.
  • Sandfort, who was named the Big Ten Player of the Week and Dick Vitale’s National Player of the Week on March 4, has scored 20+ points in three straight games for the first time in his career. He became Iowa’s 54th 1,000 point scorer on March 10 against Illinois.
  • Sophomore Josh Dix is averaging 19.3 points, shooting 62.7 percent (32-of-51) from the floor and 50 percent (8-of-16) from long range, over his last four games. He had three straight 20-point games from Feb. 27 to March 2.
  • Freeman has five double-doubles this season– the most by a Big Ten freshman and tied for the seventh-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 seven players nationally (one of two from a Power 6 Conference) with 450+ points, 130+ rebounds, 140+ assists and 50+ steals. He ranks in the top 17 in the Big Ten in points, assists and steals.
  • Sandfort is leading the Big Ten with 83 3-point field goals on a league-high 224 attempts. He also is third in the Big Ten with a 37.1 3-point field goal percentage. The forward has hit two or more 3-pointers in 25 games.


  • The Buckeyes have won five of their last six games to close out the regular season under interim head coach Jake Diebler. Ohio State is 19-12 overall and finished 9-11 in Big Ten play.
  • Ohio State went 6-2 down the stretch.
  • The Buckeyes downed top-ranked Purdue, 73-69, in Diebler’s first game as head coach and the Buckeyes won their final four games, including back-to-back blowout wins over Michigan (84-61) and at Rutgers (73-51).
  • Guard Bruce Thornton leads the Buckeyes in scoring (16.1 points), assists (4.3) and steals (1.2). Jamison Battle averages 14.4 points and he leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally with a 44.0 3-point field goal percentage, making 2.7 per game. Roddy Gayle, Jr., adds 13.8 points.
  • Center Felix Okpara is second in the Big Ten and 17th nationally with 69 blocks.


  • Friday’s game is the 170th meeting in the all-time series between Iowa and Ohio State. Iowa currently leads the series, 85-84.
  • The Hawkeyes have won four of the last six and six of the last 10 meetings in the series dating back to 2019.
  • The Buckeyes handed Iowa an 83-75 loss at the 2023 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.
  • Iowa is 2-4 all-time against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament, including a 67-60 win in the championship game in 2006.



In a game that featured 15 ties and 10 lead changes, the Hawkeyes posted a 79-77 victory over Ohio State on Feb. 2 in Iowa City. Iowa shot 54.7 percent from the floor and attempted a season-low 10 3-pointers. Senior Tony Perkins finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists and junior Payton Sandfort (15 points), sophomore Josh Dix (15 points) and senior Patrick McCaffery (10 points) joined him in double figures.
• The Buckeyes had four players land in double figures in the game with Jamison Battle leading the way with 17 points.


No. 12 Illinois led wire-to-wire in a 73-61 victory on March 10 in Iowa’s regular season finale. The Fighting Illini jumped out to a 22-4 lead over the first eight minutes and led 39-29 at the half. Iowa closed the gap to within four (51-47) with 11:15 to play. Junior Payton Sandfort paced the team with 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting with five 3-pointers. Sophomore Josh Dix added 13 points.


  • Sophomore Dasonte Bowen will miss the remainder of the season because of injury. The guard had season-ending knee surgery on March 6.
  • The Hawkeyes are 35th nationally in pace of play in 2023-24, averaging 74.1 possessions per 40 minutes. Iowa is leading the Big Ten and 14th in the country, averaging 14.94 fastbreak points per contest.
  • Iowa is 3-8 in Quad 1 games, 5-3 in Quad 2, 4-2 in Quad 3 and 6-0 in Quad 4 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes led in the second half in seven of their 10 Big Ten losses.
  • Iowa has played the 21st best strength of schedule in the nation.
  • The Hawkeyes have had three different players — Payton Sandfort, Tony Perkins and Brock Harding — record four games with 10+ assists this season.
  • The Hawkeyes have the third-best team field goal percentage in the Big Ten at 47.7 percent, which ranks 34th nationally.
  • Iowa is one the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 83.1 points in 31 games. The Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten and 14th nationally. The team has scored at least 84 points in 18 games, averaging 91.3 points in wins and 71.7 points in losses.
  • The Hawkeyes are second in the Big Ten and rank ninth nationally, averaging 17.7 assists per game. Iowa is leading the nation with a 1.85 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Senior Tony Perkins has started 78 consecutive games dating back to the 2021-22 season.
  • Iowa has played seven games decided by seven or fewer points this season (5-2 record).
  • Iowa went 12-4 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 17 in the Big Ten in scoring — Sandfort (eighth, 16.2) and Perkins (17th, 14.5).
  • 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, 13-2 when shooting 50+ percent from the field and 9-1 when making eight or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa has had at least four players reach double digits in 19 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes are 12-4 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and 26-7 in its last 33 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 six games with seven or more assists this season and 11 games with at least five assists. He is leading the team with 140 assists against 56 turnovers.
  • The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten and rank 13th nationally in free throw percentage, making 78.3 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, who has made 21 consecutive free throws in his last three games, is leading the Big Ten and ranks ninth nationally, making 91.8 percent (89-of-97) 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 6.5 rebounds per game, which ranks 14th in the Big Ten.
  • The Hawkeyes have earned 11 Big Ten weekly honors this season — Ben Krikke (Player of the Week – 11/20, Owen Freeman (Freshman of Week (11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/18, 1/8, 1/15, 1/29, 2/12, 2/19) and Payton Sandfort (Player of the Week, 3/4). 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 of the last six seasons and 10 of the last 12 years. The program has won 10 or more Big Ten games in a program record six consecutive seasons and nine of the last 10 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 league in scoring in seven of the last 11 seasons, including six straight years.


• Iowa has posted an 22-22 record in Big Ten Tournament games. The Hawkeyes earned tournament titles in 2001, 2006, and 2022 and lost in the title game in 2002. Only Michigan State (34), Ohio State (33), Illinois (31), Wisconsin (26) and Michigan (24) have more wins and a higher winning percentage. Michigan State has won six tournament titles, Ohio State has won four, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois have won three, while Michigan has two tournament titles (Ohio State was forced to vacate its 2002 title).
• Iowa has played 11 different teams in the event, having met each team except Nebraska and Maryland at least once. Iowa (2001 as a No. 6 seed; 2022 as a No. 5 seed) and Michigan (2017 as a No. 8 seed; 2018 as a No. 5 seed) are the only teams to claim the tournament title by winning four games in four days.
• Iowa has been eliminated by the tournament champion six times, including Michigan in the 1998 quarterfinals and 2018 first round, Michigan State in the 2000 quarterfinals and 2012 quarterfinals, Ohio State in the 2002 title game, and Illinois in the 2021 semifinals.


Iowa had all five of its starters earn All-Big Ten recognition for the 2023-24 season.
• Owen Freeman was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year — the second Hawkeye all-time to earn the accolade, joining Jess Settles in 1994. He was also honorable mention All-Big Ten and was named to the league’s All-Freshman Team (the first since 2020).
• Senior Tony Perkins was named a second-team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and honorable-mention by the media.
• Junior Payton Sandfort was a third-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media.
• Sophomore Josh Dix and graduate Ben Krikke were honorable mention All-Big Ten honorees by the media. Krikke was also named Iowa’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient.


Six current Hawkeyes were members of the 2022 team that won four games in four days as the No. 5 seed to win the 2022 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
• Tony Perkins was a starting guard, averaging 10.3 points, three rebounds and 4.5 assists, while shooting 48.3 percent in four games. He finished with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in the title game victory over Purdue.
• Patrick McCaffery started at a forward position, averaging 8.8 points and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 54.2 percent during the week. He scored 16 points in the semifinal win over Indiana.
• Payton Sandfort scored in double figures in two of the four games as a reserve, making six 3-point field goals.
• Riley Mulvey (two games), Luc Laketa (one game) and Carter Kingsbury were also members of the team.


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 was the first triple double in the Big Ten this season and one of 36 nationally.
• The stat line 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.


Sophomore Josh Dix scored 20+ points in three straight games for the first time in his career from Feb. 24 to March 2 (20 at Illinois, 20 vs. Penn State, 24 at Northwestern). During the three-game stretch, the Council Bluffs, Iowa, native averaged 21.3 points with a 68.4 field goal percentage (26-of-38) and a 61.5 mark from 3-point range (8-of-13).
• Dix, who is also Iowa’s best defender, is shooting 56.6 percent from the floor, 44.1 percent from 3-point range and 88.5 percent from the free throw line. He is an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection.
• He has scored in double figures in four consecutive games for the first time in his career and in five of the last six contests.
• In the road win at Northwestern, Dix scored a career-high 24 points, making 9-of-13 field goals, including 4-of-5 3-pointers.
• He made a career-high nine field goals en route to 20 points in the road game at No. 12 Illinois before scoring 18 of his 20 points in the first half in the win over Penn State on Feb. 27. Dix made his first seven shots to open the game.
• In the win over No. 20/21 Wisconsin, he made 8-of-11 field goal attempts en route to 17 points and grabbed five rebounds.
• Dix scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with five assists, four rebounds and two steals on Jan. 15 at Minnesota. It came on the heels of a 16-point outing against Nebraska, where he made a career-high five 3-point field goals.
• He has scored in double figures 10 times this season, including nine times since joining the starting lineup.