Iowa men face Oklahoma for first time since 1987 NCAA Sweet 16
Teams will meet Thanksgiving day in Rady Children's Invitational in San Diego
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie and Iowa men’s basketball will be on this year’s Thanksgiving day menu.
The Iowa men (3-1) will face Oklahoma (4-0) at 2 p.m. on Thursday in the Rady Children’s Invitational in San Diego, California.
This will be the first time the teams have met since Iowa defeated Oklahoma 93-91 in the 1987 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
The game starts at 2 p.m. and will be televised by FS1.
The current Hawkeye squad is again one the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 95 points in its first four games. Iowa leads the Big Ten and is eighth nationally in scoring offense.
Iowa has scored at least 84 points in all four games, including 110 points in the season opener against North Dakota — the most in an opener under head coach Fran McCaffery (sixth most in McCaffery era.)
Graduate transfer Ben Krikke, one of six newcomers on the Iowa roster, leads the team in scoring with a 20.0 per-game average and is shooting 61.8 percent from the field. The 6-foot-9 forward from Valparaiso also led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring last season.
“I’ve just been playing with confidence and coach (McCaffery) instills that in me and my teammates have confidence in me,” Krikke said. “I’m just getting looks and playing the game and reading and reacting in our motion offense and just hitting shots.”
Four of Iowa’s five starters are averaging double figures in scoring.
The exception is 6-2 sophomore guard Dasonte Bowen, who is averaging 8.3 point per game.
Bowen has been instrumental in helping his teammate score, however, as he has 17 assists and just one turnover in the first four games.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, is 4-0 after posting home victories over Central Michigan, Mississippi Valley State, Texas State and UTRGV.
The Sooners have won the four games by an average of 33 points.
Oklahoma’s scoring defense ranks ninth nationally, allowing just 55.5 points per contest.
So, Thursday’s game will be a contrast in styles as Iowa prefers to play at a fast pace on offense.
The winner of the Iowa-Oklahoma game will face the winner of the other Thanksgiving day matchup between Seton Hall and USC on Friday.
SERIES HISTORY: Thursday’s game is the sixth meeting all-time between Iowa and Oklahoma with the Hawkeyes leading
the series, 3-2. Iowa has won the last two games, including a 93-91 victory in the 1987 NCAA Tournament in a game played in Seattle.
The Hawkeyes are 2-1 all-time against Seton Hall. Iowa won 83-67 in New Jersey during the 2022-23 season in a game played as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Iowa is 5-2 all-time against future Big Ten foe USC. The Hawkeyes have won back-to-back games in the series, winning 66-55 in 1982 in Iowa City and 62-61 in 1983 in Los Angeles.
hawkeyesports.com contributed to this report