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Hawkeyes’ next NIT assignment: At Virginia on Wednesday

[ 0 ] March 24, 2013 |

After playing two NIT games in front of sellout crowds, Iowa’s men’s basketball season will continue in Atlantic Coast Conference country.

The Hawkeyes, 23-12, will meet Virginia, 23-11, in a 6 p.m. NIT quarterfinal game Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

The Cavaliers advanced by beating St. John’s Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena, 68-50, to extend the nation’s fourth-longest home-court winning streak to 19 games.

Wednesday’s winner will advance to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 2.

Virginia has won a school-record 20 home games this season, and is 20-1 at John Paul Jones Arena. The only team to defeat the Cavaliers at home was Delaware in the third game of the season, 59-53. The Cavaliers defeated No. 3 Duke at home on Feb. 28, 73-68, and went 9-0 at home against Atlantic Coast Conference foes.

The Cavaliers, coached by Tony Bennett, finished 11-7 in the ACC, the program’s most league wins since 2006-07. Junior forward Akil Mitchell leads Virginia in scoring at 13.3 points a game. The Cavaliers have played one game against a Big Ten foe this season, winning at Wisconsin, 60-54, in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

This is Iowa’s seventh NIT bid and third trip to the quarterfinals. The Hawkeyes lost to Penn State in the 1995 quarterfinals played at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 67-64, on Pete Lisicky’s 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining. Iowa also lost a 2003 quarterfinal at home to Georgia Tech, 79-78, on B.J. Elder’s basket with three-tenths of a second remaining.

This will be the second meeting ever between the schools. Iowa defeated Virginia in a first-round 1997 NCAA game played Salt Lake City, Utah, 73-60. Guy Rucker had 19 points for the Hawkeyes in the victory, while point guard Andre Woolridge added 17 points and 10 assists and Ryan Bowen had 15 points and 16 rebounds.

Virginia is the No. 1 seed in the NIT region, while Iowa is the No. 3 seed. The Cavaliers defeated Norfolk State in the first round, 67-56, also at home. The Hawkeyes defeated Indiana S tate, 68-52, and Stony Brook, 75-63, to advance.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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