MBB Preview -- Kansas State -- NIT First Round


OPPONENT Kansas State (19-14) at #3 Iowa (18-14)
LOCATION Carver-Hawkeye Arena | Iowa City, Iowa
DATE Tuesday, March 19
TIP-OFF 8:01 p.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Radio Network


The University of Iowa men’s basketball team hosts Kansas State in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game will tipoff at 8 p.m. (CT) and be televised on ESPN.
• Tickets are available for $20 adults and $10 for youth at the Iowa Athletics Ticket Office.


Radio: Tuesday’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: Tuesday’s game will be televised on ESPN with Pete Sousa (play-by-play) and Jess Settles (color) on the call.


  • The Hawkeyes will face Kansas State in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday in Iowa City. Iowa is making its ninth NIT appearance in program history and first since 2016-17.
  • Iowa is making its 11th postseason appearance under head coach Fran McCaffery (seven NCAAs, 4 NITs). It is the 17th time in McCaffery’s career he has led his team to postseason play.
  • The Hawkeyes have won 89 of their last 95 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
  • Iowa has won 10 or more Big Ten games in a school record six consecutive seasons. The team has won 10+ Big Ten games in nine of the last 10 seasons under 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. Josh Dix, Ben Krikke and Freeman also earned honorable mention honors.
  • 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 has scored 20+ points in three of the last four games. He became Iowa’s 54th 1,000 point scorer on March 10 against Illinois and is averaging 20.6 points, seven rebounds and 4.2 assists over his last five games.
  • Dix is averaging 16.8 points, shooting 53.3 percent (35-of-59) from the floor and 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from long range, over his last five 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 12 players nationally with 450+ points, 130+ rebounds, 140+ assists and 50+ steals. He ranks in the top 18 in the Big Ten in points, assists and steals.


  • The Wildcats bring a 19-14 record into the NIT after falling, 76-57, to eventual Big 12 Tournament champion Iowa State in the tournament quarterfinals. K-State finished with an 8-10 record in Big 12 play.
  • K-State went 4-3 down the stretch with wins over Iowa State and Texas. The Wildcats beat the Cyclones, 65-58, in the regular season finale in Manhattan.
  • Two players — Tylor Perry and Arthur Kaluma — garnered honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. Perry leads the team in scoring (15.5 points), assists (144) and 3-point field goals (91).
  • Kaluma averages 14.7 points to go along with a team-best 7.1 rebounds, while Cam Carter is the third Wildcat in double figures at 14.6 points.
  • K-State is 29th nationally in 3-point field goal defense (.307) and 31st in field goal percentage defense (.408).


  • Tuesday’s game will be the ninth meeting between Iowa and Kansas State. It is tied, 4-4.
  • Iowa is 3-1 all-time against K-State in Iowa City.
  • The Hawkeyes have won the last two meetings, winning 89-70 in 2001 and 65-63 in 2008 in Las Vegas.
  • Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery has never faced K-State.



No. 10 seed Ohio State never trailed in a 90-78 victory over seventh-seeded Iowa in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on March 14 in Minneapolis. The Buckeyes shot 51.7 percent and made 11 3-pointers and their bench outscored Iowa’s counterparts, 37-16. Payton Sandfort paced the Hawkeyes with 19 points on 5-of-13 shooting with four 3-pointers, while Tony Perkins and Ben Krikke scored 13 points each.


  • 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 31st nationally in pace of play in 2023-24, averaging 74.1 possessions per 40 minutes. Iowa is leading the Big Ten and eighth in the country, averaging 15.03 fastbreak points per contest.
  • Iowa is 3-9 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 regular season losses.
  • 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 47.5 percent, which ranks 39th nationally.
  • Sandfort is leading the Big Ten with 87 3-point field goals on a league-high 232 attempts. He also is third in the Big Ten with a 37.5 3-point field goal percentage. The forward has hit two or more 3-pointers in 26 games.
  • Iowa is one the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 82.9 points in 32 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 72.1 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 Big Ten and rank second nationally with a 1.87 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Senior Tony Perkins has started 79 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).
  • 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 18 in the Big Ten in scoring — Sandfort (eighth, 16.3) and Perkins (18th, 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 11-3 when attempting at least 20 free throws, 13-2 when shooting 50+ percent from the field and 9-2 when making eight or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa has had at least four players reach double digits in 20 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes are 12-4 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and 26-7 in its last 33 home games. It is the sixth straight year the team has won at least 10 home games. Iowa has won at least 10 home games in 12 of head coach Fran McCaffery’s 14 seasons.
  • 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 seven games with seven or more assists this season and 12 games with at least five assists. He is leading the team with 147 assists against 62 turnovers.
  • The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten and rank 16th 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 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 11th nationally, making 91.3 percent (94-of-103) 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 13th in the Big Ten.
  • The Hawkeyes 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.
  • The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring in seven of the last 11 seasons, including six straight years.


The Hawkeyes are making their ninth NIT appearance in school history and the first since the 2016-17 season. Iowa is 10-8 all-time in the NIT.
• Iowa has appeared in the NIT in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013 and 2017. The Hawkeyes went 1-1 in their most recent appearance, downing South Dakota and falling to TCU in overtime in two games played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
• The Hawkeyes are 6-5 in the NIT in games played in Iowa City.
• Iowa advanced to the NIT Final Four and finished as the runner-up in 2013. The Hawkeyes lost to Baylor in the NIT Championship game in Madison Square Garden.


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.


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 55.8 percent from the floor, 42.5 percent from 3-point range and 86.5 percent from the free throw line. He is an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection.
• He has scored in double figures in five consecutive games for the first time in his career and in six of the last seven 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 11 times this season, including 10 times since joining the starting lineup.