Iowa’s Consensus National Player of the Year could not contain her excitement or her expectations about the Hawkeyes playing a basketball doubleheader in her hometown.
“Going back home again!!!!” Caitlin Clark said on social media. “I expect this place sold out on Dec. 16! Can’t wait to see all the Hawkeye fans in Des Moines.”
The Iowa women’s and men’s teams announced Wednesday that they will play back-to-back at Wells Fargo Arena against Cleveland State and Florida A&M, respectively.
“We’re excited to play in our state’s capital at Wells Fargo Arena,” said Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder. “It will be another great opportunity for both the men’s and women’s programs at Iowa to play in front of Hawkeye fans in Des Moines.”
The NCAA national runner-up won a school-record 31 games in 2022-23. This will be the first time the Iowa women play at Wells Fargo Arena.
In addition to Clark, who averaged 27.8 points per game, 8.6 assists per game and 7.1 rebounds per game, starters Gabbie Marshall and Kate Martin are returning to the Hawkeyes, along with 2023 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Hannah Stuelke.
Meanwhile, the men’s team is one of 10 teams in the country to play in the past four NCAA tournaments.
It will be a homecoming for junior Payton Sandfort and freshman Pryce Sandfort, who played their prep careers at nearby Waukee and Waukee Northwest, respectively.
It will be the ninth appearance at Wells Fargo Arena for the men, who will be led this season by seniors Patrick McCaffery and Tony Perkins.
“We look forward to returning to Des Moines for this unique event at Wells Fargo Arena,” said Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery. “This men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader gives Hawkeye fans in central Iowa the opportunity to see both programs play close to home.”
Tip-off times have yet to be announced, but tickets will go on sale May 24.
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