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Better Know a Gavitt Tipoff Games Opponent: Iowa

wooooooo Iowa

Let's be honest: Herky The Hawkeye is kind of weird looking.
Let's be honest: Herky The Hawkeye is kind of weird looking.
Andy Lyons

Marquette has a varying history with the members of the Big Ten.  They have a long running series with Wisconsin, of course, and there are a few other schools that MU has squared off with over the years.  With the announcement of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and at least six games against Big East opponents, we're going to check in on Marquette's history against each of the 13 teams and see what could make for the most interesting match ups.

For lack of any particular order of importance, we'll go in order of how many times Marquette has seen each particular opponent. Today, we turn our attention west, but not all the way west.


All Time Series: Iowa leads 10-7
Last Meeting: December 8, 1982

A 17 game series that hasn't been contested in over 30 years almost seems ridiculous, doesn't it?  I mean, how have Iowa and Marquette played 17 times without accidentally playing each other since 1982?  All four of the more frequent series have been played since 1994, and three of them have been played since 2000.

The way that kind of thing happens is when two teams play eight times by March of 1930.  To give you an idea of how far back in the history of basketball those games were, five of those eight games featured one team failing to reach 20 points.  Had I tricked you into riding a time machine to witness the January 2, 1926 game between Marquette and Iowa, you would have promptly run out the door to punch my great-grandfather in the face, as that game ended with Iowa taking a 19-16 win.  I am not making this up.

Since the first day of 1940, Marquette and Iowa have played just five times, with Iowa taking a 3-2 advantage in those games.  Perhaps the most notable game in the series came in March of 1955, when Iowa came away with an 86-81 win.  That game came in the Elite Eight of the 1955 NCAA tournament, which was Marquette's first Elite Eight appearance in program history.  Terry Rand's 17 points and 12 rebounds were unable to counter Bill Logan's 31 points and 15 rebounds and MU would have to wait another 14 years before another Elite Eight appearance and 19 years before the Warriors would find a way to punch through to the Final Four.

The two most recent games in the series came as part of a home and home series in the Decembers of 1981 and 1982.  Both ended as losses for the Doc Rivers led squads, but it's of no shame to Marquette for that.  Iowa was a top 10 team in the country in both instances, and the Hawkeyes would end up finishing second in the Big Ten both years and winning at least one game in the NCAA tournament in each of those seasons.  The strength of those teams would lead their head coach to take a new job following the 1982-83 season, as Lute Olson headed southwest from the cornfields of Iowa to the desert of Arizona.

The current coach of the Hawkeyes is Fran McCaffrey.  I'd like nothing more than to see a Marquette team frustrate the Hawkeyes to the point where McCaffrey has one of his trademark meltdowns, as seen here (be sure to watch through 1:15):

or here:

McCaffery is 74-63 in four seasons after taking over the top spot in Iowa City.  He had taken Siena to three straight NCAA tournaments before replacing Todd Lickliter.  This past March, McCaffery got his team back to the NCAA tournamnent for the first time in his tenure in the Big Ten and the first time for Iowa since Steve Alford guided them to a #3 seed in 2006.  While they've lost Roy Devyn Marble after last season, I'd wager on McCaffery being able to keep the Hawkeyes as a viable contender in the Big Ten.  Three straight NCAA appearances out of the MAAC is no joke, people.

Carver Hawkeye Arena has been the home to Iowa basketball since it opened in 1983, although a basketball game wasn't the first event contested there.  That honor actually falls to a wrestling meet between Iowa and Oklahoma where Dan Gable coached the Hawkeyes to the dual meet win.  The building currently has a capacity of 15,400 following a renovation in 2011, and the Iowa faithful are exactly that, attending games to the tune of 14,976 on average last season.