3 top-ranked teams visit Iowa in 2015-16; all 3 leave with losses
Jan 18, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Print View
Three college basketball teams have visited the state of Iowa ranked No. 1 this season. All three have lost.
Iowa State became the latest Iowa team to beat a No. 1 when it knocked off Oklahoma on Monday night.
Here's a look back at three games that will make this winter in Iowa a memorable one.
Nov. 21, 2015: Northern Iowa 71, North Carolina 67
Summary: The Tar Heels came to Cedar Falls as a parting gift to senior Marcus Paige, a Linn-Mar grad.
But Paige, UNC's starting point guard didn't play due to an injury and the Panthers showed why major-conference teams avoid the McLeod Center and other MVC venues.
UNI trailed by 16 in the second half, but out-scored North Carolina 29-8 over a 12-minute period to take the lead.
Jeremy Morgan picked off a pass with North Carolina down three, and Northern Iowa sealed the game at the free-throw line.
Star: UNI point guard Wes Washpun had 21 points, eight assists and three rebounds in the victory.
Quotable: "How many times do you have the No. 1 team in the nation come to your home floor? It’s a pretty special feeling, and seeing everyone as excited as you and seeing little kids looking up to you. It takes you back and makes you understand (that) that was me and Wes when we were little. It takes you back and makes you appreciate the position you’re in. It’s a really cool feeling." -- Northern Iowa guard Matt Bohannon
Summary: Iowa sprinted out to a 37-23 halftime lead, but the second half is where the Hawkeyes made their mark.
Iowa had lost 13 of its last 14 games against MSU, including blowing an 11-point halftime lead in a 14-point home defeat last season.
But this year the Hawkeyes shot 63.6 percent in the second half and never let Michigan State grab its breath.
Spartans star guard Denzel Valentine missed the game after surgery earlier that month, but Iowa proved itself a couple weeks later with a 17-point victory over Valentine and the Spartans in East Lansing.
Star: Point guard Mike Gesell scored a career-high 25 points and directed the Hawkeye offense beautifully.
Quotable: "One of the rare times in my career we got, for a better choice of words, punked. We got outphysicaled, we got outhustled, they got every loose ball." -- Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo