IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa men’s basketball team is considered one of the top contenders in the Big Ten, and a top-10 team nationally heading into the 2020-21 season.
And with that respect comes opportunity, including a matchup with perennial power Gonzaga on a neutral court.
It is being reported by CBSSports.com that Iowa will face Gonzaga on Dec. 19 at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery held a zoom conference with the media on Tuesday, and said that he expected Iowa to play a 27-game schedule. However, McCaffery didn’t mention a game against Gonzaga and he described the nonconference schedule as a work in progress.
Iowa also said through its sports information department that it couldn’t confirm the report with no official confirmation at this point.
Iowa returns a wealth of talent and experience from a team that was in position to make the NCAA Tournament last season, including 6-foot-11 All-America senior center Luka Garza, who is considered the preseason favorite for national player of the year.
Senior guard Jordan Bohannon also is healthy after having surgery on both of his hips, and he gives Iowa one of the top clutch shooters in the Big Ten.
As for the Gonzaga, it has advanced to the NCAA Elite four times, including in 2019, has made 10 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances since 1999, and is getting serious consideration as the top team nationally heading into the season.
Mark Few has been Gonzaga’s head coach since 1999 and has led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in every season during his tenure.
Iowa had been scheduled to play Oregon State in December, but the report by CBSSports said that game has been replaced by the matchup with Gonzaga.
The matchup with Gonzaga will be Iowa’s second trip to the Pentagon. The Hawkeyes defeated Colorado 80-73 on Dec. 22, 2017.