The last major piece of Iowa's non-conference basketball schedule fell into play Thursday morning as the Big Ten and ACC announced the match-ups for the 19th Annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The Hawkeyes have drawn a very familiar foe this year:
Iowa plays at Virginia Tech (22-11 last year, 10-8 in ACC) in Big Ten/ACC Challenge on date TBA. Iowa's 3rd trip to VT in last 11 years.
— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) June 8, 2017
As Hlas noted, making the trip to Blacksburg is not exactly unusual for Iowa. This is the fourth time they've been matched up with Virginia Tech in the B1G-ACC Challenge and the third time that they've faced the Hokies in Blacksburg. All four match-ups have occurred since 2006. Unfortunately, Iowa hasn't had very good luck against the Hokies in those past match-ups:
Iowa is 0-3 all-time vs. Virginia Tech: 2006 (road; Alford), 2009 (home; Lickliter), 2012 (road; McCaffery).
— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) June 8, 2017
In 2006, Iowa lost 69-65 to VT despite 24 points from Adam Haluska. Tony Freeman was the only Hawkeye scorer in double figures (11 points) and Tyler Smith went 2/13 from the floor. Iowa lost the only home meeting between the teams in 2009, Todd Lickliter's final year in charge. Anthony Tucker balled out to the tune of 24 points on 9/18 shooting (6/14 from 3-point range), but Jarryd Cole was the only other Hawkeye in double figures (10 points) and Iowa lost 70-64. Finally, in 2012, Iowa went back to Blacksburg and got hamblasted by the Hokies, 95-79. Aaron White had a double-double (21 points on 8/15 shooting and 10 rebounds) and Devyn Marble had 18 points, but, uh, they gave up 95 points. Bit of a problem, that.
Hopefully the, er, fourth time will be the charm for Iowa against Virginia Tech. VT went 22-11 overall last year (10-8 in the ACC), finished 50th in KenPom, and made the NCAA Tournament as a 9 seed, losing 84-74 to Wisconsin in the first round. That team suffered some notable losses, though -- Zach LeDay, their starting center, led the team in scoring (16.5 ppg on 54% shooting) and rebounding (7.3 rpg), but he's graduated. Seth Allen was their second-leading scorer (13.3 ppg), but he's also graduated. They do return three players (Chris Clarke, Ahmed Hill, and Justin Robinson) who averaged double figures in scoring last year (11.4, 11.4, and 10.4, respectively). Clarke also averaged 7.3 rebounds per game. They also return the wonderfully-named Ty Outlaw, who averaged 6.3 ppg and was their leading three-point shooter (48.7% from deep).
Virginia Tech is by far the most common opponent Iowa has faced in the B1G-ACC Challenge, as you can see below:
|GAMES VS||ACC TEAMS PLAYED|
|2x||Notre Dame, Florida State, Wake Forest|
|1x||Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State|
|0x||Louisville, Miami, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia|
The B1G-ACC Challenge has not been that kind to Iowa over the years. Iowa has the worst record among Big Ten teams (5-11), with the fewest wins (outside of Nebraska and Rutgers*, who obviously have played far fewer games in the event) and the most losses (Illinois, Michigan State, and Northwestern all have 10 losses, one behind Iowa). Iowa has fared better in the event under Fran, though -- the Hawkeyes are 3-4 in the Challenge under our man Fran, including two of the signature wins of the Fran Era, the 98-93 shootout over Notre Dame in 2013 and the 60-55 upset of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2014. That was pretty great.
* Maryland has zero wins in the Challenge as a Big Ten team, but went 10-5 in the event as an ACC team.
Official dates, start times, and TV information will be released at a later date. You can probably pencil in the game for November 27-29, though, based on past history. Here's an updated look at Iowa's non-conference hoops schedule:
|DATE||TEAM||RECORD||2017 KP||2017 RPI|
|11/10 or 11/11||Chicago State (home)||6-26||335||318|
|11/20-11/22||South Dakota State (neutral)*||18-17||185||152|
|11/27-11/29||Virginia Tech (road)||22-11||50||48|
|12/7||Iowa State (road)||24-11||17||21|
|12/19||Southern Utah (home)||6-27||333||341|
*Iowa won't be playing all of the teams denoted with an *, of course; those are just the possible teams they could face in the Cayman Islands Classic.
That's a pretty rough schedule for home fans -- all of the games against interesting opponents are either on the road (Iowa State, Virginia Tech) or at neutral sites (Colorado, Cincinnati). Hope you don't mind seeing cupcakes in Carver-Hawkeye Arena until after Christmas. (Of course, since we also know that Iowa will be playing two Big Ten conference games in early December, one of them at CHA, there's a chance that at least one of Iowa's pre-Christmas games in Iowa City will be against an opponent with a pulse. Unless that game winds up being against, like, Rutgers, that is.)
Here are the rest of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge match-ups, if you're interested:
— Big Ten Men's Hoops (@B1GMBBall) June 8, 2017
Anyway: Virginia Tech. Again. Whee?