IOWA CITY, Ia. – Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines represents the best of times for Iowa senior Eric May. And the wors
t of times.
Playing in the 2008 state tournament as a junior at Dubuque Wahlert, May made a 35-foot 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to beat Harlan in the Class 3-A title game.
“It gets deeper every time it gets talked about,” May said of a shot that still lives on You Tube.
May doesn’t have special memories of last season, when the Hawkeyes were manhandled by Creighton at Wells Fargo Arena, 82-59.
“I think more about the shot,” May said. “That’s the one I choose to remember.”
Iowa returns to Wells Fargo Arena Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game against Northern Iowa to tip off the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic.
“I get reminded of that shot every time I walk in th
ere,” May said.
His Iowa teammate, Zach McCabe, was in the crowd and witnessed May’s winning shot that night in 2008.
“I didn’t know he was in the stands,” May said. “But I know we took care of him.”
McCabe was a sophomore at Sioux City Heelan. His team had lost May’s team in the first round at state, 64-40. May had 19 points, five rebounds and three steals. McCabe had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“Eric’s team killed us,” McCabe said. “They were just a better team than we were. We got rattled.”
McCabe decided to make the drive back to Des Moines to attend the title game, and May gave him a lasting memory with his 35-foot shot.
“I thought that shot was incredible,” McCabe said. “I still watch it sometimes, because I can’t believe it.”
Like May, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery doesn’t have warm and fuzzy memories of the Hawkeyes’ previous visit to Wells Fargo Arena last season.
“Nothing that happened last year is going to benefit us Saturday, I can tell you that,” McCaffery said. “Hopefully, we’ll be better than we were then.”
Last season’s 80-60 loss at Northern Iowa was another sour moment. McCaffery got two technical fouls and was ejected. McCabe also got a technical.
“That game is definitely still in my mind,” McCabe said. “Any time you lose to a team like that by 20 points, and all the stuff that happened in that game, is kind of motivating to us. We need to be a tough team.”
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery met with the media on Wednesday in Iowa City.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball