Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cyclones Will Play Ohio State Dec. 17 at Wells Fargo Arena in D.M.

The Iowa State men’s basketball team will play Ohio State in the 2005 Mediacom Cyclone Capital Classic on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The game will be televised by ESPN2, and will be Iowa State's first-ever men's contest played in the new arena in downtown Des Moines.

The Cyclone women’s team will play Northern Iowa at 4:30 p.m. The game will be televised by Mediacom.

“We are pleased that we are able to schedule a game against a nationally recognized opponent in our first game in the Wells Fargo Arena,” Iowa State athletic director Bruce Van De Velde said.

“We think the matchup against Northern Iowa in the women’s game and the Big 12-Big Ten matchup in the men’s game will provide Cyclone fans and alumni throughout the nation an outstanding night of basketball.”

The games are being promoted by Cyclone Sports Marketing, a partnership between Clear Channel Communciations and ESPN Regional TV.

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Great scheduling. I don't know if the fact new Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is a former athletic director at Iowa State, but it likely didn't hurt. Give credit to the Buckeyes for agreeing to a game against an Iowa State team that figures to be pretty good. And Ohio State is certainly going to be a challenging opponent for coach Wayne Morgan's team. I hope more of this type of scheduling takes place in the future].


Iowa’s men’s basketball team will host North Carolina State on Wednesday, Nov. 30 as the Hawkeyes return to the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

Game time will be 8:30 p.m. ESPN2 will televise it.

Iowa is 1-3 in the Challenge, defeating Georgia Tech in 2001 in Iowa City. Iowa lost to Maryland in Baltimore in 2000, at Florida State in 2003 and to Duke in Chicago in 2002. North Carolina State defeated Purdue in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge last year to improve to 4-2 in the event.

“It’s exciting to be back in the Challenge and hosting an ACC team in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” said Iowa Coach Steve Alford. “Playing a team from the ACC, you always know it’s a quality opponent that is well-coached. It’s a real plus for our home schedule to face an ACC opponent and it makes our overall non-conference schedule that much stronger.”

The Wolfpack posted a 21-14 record a year ago and return three starters and eight lettermen. North Carolina State advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 2005 NCAA tournament with a victory over Connecticut before falling to Wisconsin.

Coach Herb Sendek has posted a 169-122 overall record in nine seasons, leading his team to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.

Iowa had a 21-12 record last season, making its fifth straight post-season appearance after a fifth straight winning season. The Hawkeyes lost to Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA tournament after advancing to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.

Iowa returns 11 lettermen and five starters from a year ago, including senior forward Greg Brunner and senior guard Jeff Horner. Horner and Brunner have each scored over 1,000 career points and Brunner has ranked second in Big Ten rebounding the past two seasons.

North Carolina State holds a 3-2 series advantage over Iowa, but none of the previous five games has been played in Iowa City or Raleigh. The teams last met in 1989, with the Wolfpack winning 102-96 in double overtime in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Providence, RI.

With the realignment of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten/ACC Challenge includes 11 games for the first time as every Big Ten Conference team will participate. Here is the schedule, with all times Central:

Monday, Nov. 28

Virginia Tech at Ohio State, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Minnesota at Maryland, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2
Wisconsin at Wake Forest, 6 p.m., ESPN
Northwestern at Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Purdue at Florida State, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2
Duke at Indiana, 8 p.m., ESPN
Clemson at Penn State, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Illinois at North Carolina, 8 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Nov. 30

North Carolina State at Iowa, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2
Georgia Tech at Michigan State, 6 p.m., ESPN

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: It's good that Iowa is back in this tournament. Alford has picked up the nickname "Mr. November" because his teams play some of their best basketball early in the season. North Carolina State should be a good test for the Hawkeyes].