Iowa Wins 20th Game, Announces They’ll Retire Luka Garza’s Number [WATCH]
Sunday was a special day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a variety of reasons. Let's get into that and both the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments that begin in just a couple of days.
On the men's side, 5th-ranked Iowa's 77-73 win over #25 Wisconsin on Sunday was the final home game in the careers of several Hawkeyes, including Jordan Bohannon and Luka Garza, who combined for 37 points, 22 rebounds, and 10 assists in their last game in Iowa City.
Following the game, Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta announced that Iowa would be retiring the number 55 in honor of Garza, Iowa's all-time leading scorer in men's basketball. As you'll see in the video below, Garza was unsuspecting, and emotional when the announcement was made.
The win over Wisconsin was Iowa's 20th of the season, and their eighth against opponents ranked in the AP Top 25. That's the most top-25 wins by any team in the nation. It was also Iowa's 14th win in Big Ten play, the most since 1987. That 1987 team went 30-5, losing to UNLV in the Elite 8. Iowa led the Runnin' Rebels by 16 at halftime that day, before losing by three. 34 years later, I'm still not over it and have never trusted a lead since.
Iowa is the 3rd seed in the men's Big Ten Tournament that begins on Wednesday. The 3-seed means Iowa gets two byes, and won't play until Friday evening. The winner of Wednesday's Nebraska-Penn State game will meet Wisconsin Thursday night for the chance to play the Hawkeyes in the quarterfinals. The Iowa game Friday night will start at approximately 8 p.m. Iowa time and will be televised by the Big Ten Network. The entire men's bracket is below.
Iowa hopes junior guard Joe Wieskamp will be able to return for the tourney. Wieskamp, who had scored 12 points on five-for-five shooting in the first 11:44 of Sunday morning's game, rolled his right ankle and did not return. He wore a walking boot when he came back to the Iowa bench after receiving treatment in the locker room.
Many bracketologists have Iowa as a #2 seed when the NCAA Tournament begins next week. A few more wins should solidify that, and who knows... a #1 might not be out of the question. Iowa has never been a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney and has been the #2 seed only one other time, in 1987. Let's hope the season doesn't end as painfully as that one did.
The Iowa women's basketball team concluded the regular season with a 15-8 record after defeating Nebraska 83-75 on Saturday night.
Freshman Caitlin Clark continued her incredible season with 35 points, giving her 631 on the season, putting her in select company. Clark is just the fifth Hawkeye in history to score more than 600 in a season. The other four are a who's who of Iowa women's hoops:
- Megan Gustafson: Iowa's all-time leading scorer (2,804) and rebounder (1,460).
- Franthea Price: Two-time 1st team All-American that led Iowa to four conference titles and two Elite Eight appearances during her 1987-1990 Iowa career.
- Michelle "Ice" Edwards: Iowa was 102-22 during her 1984-1988 Iowa career and she was the first Iowa player to have her number retired.
- Cindy Haugejorde: Led Iowa in scoring all four years of her Iowa career from 1977-1980. She's third on Iowa's all-time scoring list with 2,059 points.
The Iowa women are the #6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They'll begin tourney play Wednesday night at approximately 7:30 p.m. Iowa time against the #11 seed Purdue Boilermakers, who are 7-15 on the season. The game will be televised by FS2.