BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Fourteen years later, Duez Henderson can wrap his arms around the history that took place that night inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Iowa opened the 1999-2000 basketball season with a 70-68 victory over No. 1 Connecticut in the first round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
“Those games carry extra weight in the memory bank,” said Henderson, a starting forward on that team. “When you meet people and start reminiscing, you realize how special those moments are.”
Iowa’s basketball team has another date with history Saturday, facing No.1 Indiana in a 6:30 p.m. Big Ten game at Assembly Hall. The Hawkeyes are 2-19 all-time against No. 1 teams. The other victory came against UCLA at Chicago Stadium in 1965.
“It is a tremendous opportunity, and fortunately we get tremendous opportunities all the time to, in some cases, play the No. 1 team, but a lot of times it’s a Top 5, a Top 10, certainly a Top 25 team,” said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, whose team is 0-5 against rated foes this season. “It’s a great challenge for our program as we continue to grow and go on the road in that kind of environment and play a team that is that hungry, and is so strong at seemingly every position.”
This will be the seventh time Iowa has played a top-ranked Indiana team. The Hawkeyes are 0-6 in those games, including losses in Bloomington in 1953, 1975, and 1976. The 1975 loss, by a 102-49 score, was dubbed the “Hamburger Game.” A Bloomington fast –food restaurant gave all ticket holders a free hamburger and French fries if the Hoosiers held an opponent that season under 50 points.
Iowa was ranked No. 1 when it defeated No. 3 Indiana, 101-88, on Jan. 22, 1987. That game marked the first time an Indiana-coached Bob Knight team ever allowed triple figures.
Tom Crean’s Hoosiers are 24-4 overall and 12-3 in Big Ten play. One of those victories came in the Big Ten opener against Iowa ,69-65, on Dec. 31, 2012. Indiana has a one-game lead over Michigan State and Wisconsin with three games remaining.
Iowa, 18-10 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten, will be facing a No. 1 team for the first time since a 70-48 loss at Ohio State in 2011. And it will be doing so without injured starting point guard Mike Gesell. McCaffery said Friday that Gesell will have another MRI on his right foot and doesn’t expect him back until the Big Ten Tournament at the soonest.
The odds are long for the Hawkeyes today, much as they were for the 1999-2000 team in the season opener. That was Steve Alford’s first game as coach
“I remember one of the last things coach Alford said before we broke the huddle for the jump ball was that the first 5 to 6 minutes were going to set the tone,” Henderson said. “A lot of times, in that first 5- to 6-minute stretch, you fall behind. Then you’re playing catch-up and forced to do things you’re not accustomed to.”
Iowa jumped out to a 12-2 lead to start the game and took a 36-21 edge into halftime. The Huskies came roaring back from a 17-point deficit early in the second-half to get within 55-53 after Dean Oliver went to the bench with his fourth foul. But Iowa held on for the victory.
“It was a lively locker room,” said Henderson, who finished with five points and six rebounds against Connecticut. “It was a great feeling.”
IOWA vs. NO. 1 INDIANA
March 9, 1953, Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana 68, Iowa 61
Jan. 11, 1975, Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana 102, Iowa 49
Feb. 8, 1975, Iowa City – Indiana 79, Iowa 56
Jan. 26, 1976, Iowa City- Indiana 88, Iowa 73
Feb. 23, 1976, Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana 101, Iowa 81
Feb. 6, 1993, Iowa City – Indiana 73, Iowa 66
NO. 1 IOWA VS. INDIANA
Jan. 22, 1987 – Iowa 101, Indiana 88
WHO: Iowa (18-10, 7-8 Big Ten) at Indiana (24-4, 12-3 Big Ten)
WHERE: Assembly Hall, Bloomington , Ind.
TIPOFF: 6:30 p.m.
TELEVISION: Big Ten Network.
RADIO: WHO-AM (1040) and Hawkeye Radio Network.
STAT LEADERS: For Iowa – Devyn Marble 14.0 ppg; Aaron White 6.2 rpg; Anthony Clemmons 3.3 apg; for Indiana – Cody Zeller 16.1 ppg; Zeller 8.1 ppg; Yogi Ferrell 4.4 apg.
ABOUT THE HAWKEYES: Devyn Marble has averaged 18.8 points over the last five games, shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and 89.6 percent from the line. In the first meeting with Indiana, Marble was one-for-14 from the field, but made 12 of 13 free throws and grabbed a career-best nine rebounds in the 69-65 loss.
ABOUT THE HOOSIERS: Indiana leads the nation in scoring margin (20.4 points), is second in 3-point percentage (.426) and scoring offense (82.2) and fourth in field-goal percentage (.497).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Iowa’s Aaron White has shot more free throws in Big Ten play than anyone, 204. Indiana’s Cody Zeller ranks second, with 199.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball