116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to men’s basketball, Iowa is Iowa.
Five players from three high schools within a 35-mile radius of each other in Linn and Johnson Counties are leading the Hawkeyes into Sunday’s Big Ten men’s basketball tournament title game against Purdue.
Oh, how those Mississippi Valley Conference kids took care of business Saturday in Iowa’s 80-77 semifinal win over Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Oh, how they’ve had themselves a season in pacing the Hawkeyes to a 25-9 record, with their latest win a thriller capped by Jordan Bohannon’s long, banked-in 3-pointer to break the tie with 1.1 seconds left.
Senior guard Bohannon, who played at Linn-Mar High, made the shot heard round the college basketball world Saturday afternoon.
Keegan and Kris Murray of Cedar Rapids Prairie High combined to score 14 straight Iowa points in the first half to turn a 15-3 Indiana lead into a 17-17 tie. Keegan Murray went on to score 32 points, giving him 84 in three games here.
The tournament record for points is the 92 of Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr., set last year. It seems sure to fall when Murray, who averages a league-high 23.7 points, plays Sunday.
Hawkeye forward Patrick McCaffery of Iowa City West High scored 12 of his 16 points Saturday in the second half after not getting much going individually in the previous game-and-a-half.
“He missed a couple early,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “I don't think he was aggressive enough.
“But I challenged him to be who he is, affect the game the way that you can, driving the ball, moving without the ball, running the floor, use your length on defense. And he was special, and I'm proud of him.”
Patrick’s older brother, Connor McCaffery, provided his usual heady defensive and offensive play, had three assists, and got the ball to Bohannon before his game-winner.
Players come from all over the nation and world to play for major-college teams, with Iowa no exception. Yet, 65 of the Hawkeyes’ 80 points against the Hoosiers came from the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor.
“These are Iowa kids,” Fran McCaffery said. “It's been written a million times, Jordan's dad (Gordy Bohannon), Rose Bowl quarterback at Iowa. Kenyon (Murray, the father of Keegan and Kris) was an McDonald's All-American who came to Iowa and met somebody and stayed in Iowa.
“I watched those kids grow up, all three of them, and it's a proud moment as a coach to watch three Iowa kids excel the way they have. But the amazing thing is just how they conduct themselves, how they carry themselves, the way they lead, the way they treat their teammates, the way they compete and they take tremendous pride in wearing that jersey.”
“We have an amazing basketball tradition at our school and anybody that puts that jersey on has a responsibility, like Jordan said, to represent those that came before. Those guys do it as well as anybody.”
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