With how poorly the Iowa Hawkeyes have played over the last 3 weeks, they could be getting exactly what they needed with their first round match up against the Northwestern Wildcats.
The Hawkeyes drew the Wildcats twice this year, and clobbered them twice. One of their victories came when Northwestern was arguably the hottest team in the Big Ten.
In the first meeting between these teams, the Hawkeyes prevailed 93-67. They shot 57% from both the field and from behind the arc and had two guys record double doubles in Aaron White and Melsahn Basabe. The Hawkeyes also had 22 assists on 29 made baskets, an incredible number. Iowa also got 25 points from its bench.
The Wildcats got 18 points from Jershon Cobb, who won’t be dressed for Thursday night’s match up due to injury. Iowa was also +13 in rebounding on that night.
In the teams’ second time around, Iowa did it again with hot shooting and rebounding. The Hawkeyes shot 52% from the field and 42% from behind the arc. Iowa was also +24 on the glass.
The biggest thing for Iowa is the confidence factor that will be going into this game. Iowa knows the history that these two teams have and with the Wildcats already being depleted, that should only make things easier for the Hawkeyes. Their up tempo style should drain the 6 man rotation that Chris Collins is forced to use with his injuries.
This is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Hawkeyes because if they get past the Wildcats, they’ll have the Michigan State Spartans waiting for them and everyone who has followed the team this year knows how those games have gone.
Iowa and Northwestern will be the final game played on Thursday night and that game will tip off at 8:00 p.m. in Indianapolis.