For the final time the Hawkeyes will be battling UNI at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday.
Due to an additional 2 conference games being required the Hawkeyes won’t be able to participate in the Hy-Vee Classic after 2018.
The Classic began in 2012, but Saturday’s finale against the Panthers ends a tradition that goes back decades.
In each of the past 34 years, the Hawkeyes have found a way to play either Drake or Northern Iowa in a non-conference basketball game.
“Obviously it’s tough when we moved to 20 league games to try to change our schedule a little bit, but we’re looking forward to playing at Wells Fargo again against a tough opponent like UNI,” said senior forward Nicholas Baer. “It’s a lot of fun for people in this state and we’re looking forward to it.”
“You know it’s funny because this is the only time I’ve had the chance to play in Wells Fargo, so it’s been a lot of fun to be able to play there and play against Iowa teams,” Iowa junior guard Jordan Bohannon said. “It’s a really great thing. It’s unfortunate it’s not gonna keep going, but next year it’s whatever games they decide to play instead.”
“Scheduling becomes confusing now and they just changed it again with the NET formula. So it’s just one of those things,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “I have enjoyed the event. I have tremendous respect for Ben and his program. The players that he has are very good. It’s going to be a tough game.”
The Hawks have had plenty of success in Des Moines in the Classic, going 5-1, although their only loss came in 2014 to UNI.