First Game of Iowa Men’s Basketball Season Announced And It’s A Doozy
The Division I college basketball season can begin on Wednesday, November 25, but we still don't know when it will start for the Iowa men's basketball team. However, one of the games for the upcoming season has been announced, and it's a BIG one.
The University of Iowa Sports Information Department announced Monday morning that the Hawkeyes will play the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday, December 19 at 11 a.m. in a nationally-televised game on CBS. The game will be played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Tickets, limited in number, will go on sale at a future date. The game replaces a previously-announced game against Oregon State at the same venue.
The Bulldogs, who are often called the Zags, finished last season with a 31-2 record. They were ranked second in the nation, had just beaten St. Mary's in the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship, and were widely considered a number one seed in the NCAA tournament when it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the Zags return likely All-American Corey Kispert and last year's W.C.C. Tourney MVP Joel Ayayi, among others. They also welcome five-star guard recruit Jalen Suggs, the highest-rated recruit in the school's history. Many consider Gonzaga to be the team to beat in the upcoming season.
The Iowa Hawkeyes, who many experts believe are one of the nation's top-5 teams in the 2020-21 season, have plenty of returning talent as well, including All-American Luka Garza. A healthy Jordan Bohannon is back for another season along with Connor McCaffery, CJ Fredrick, Joe Wieskamp, Joe Toussaint, and Jack Nunge returns from an ACL injury and Patrick McCaffery is back after missing nearly all of last season with health and wellness issues. Iowa also welcomes five freshmen. Bohannon and Garza are the team's only seniors.
The December 19 game will be the fourth meeting all-time between Iowa and Gonzaga. Iowa leads the all-time series 2-1. The Hawkeyes won in 1984 and 1985, with Gonzaga winning in the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
The rest of the Iowa basketball schedule has not yet been announced. The 2020-21 roster is below.