Game #3: Iowa Hawkeyes (1-2) vs No. 3 Texas Longhorns (2-0)
8:45 p.m. * Sprint Center * Kansas City, MO
TV: ESPN2 / Radio: 98.1 FM
While it might have slipped your minds (VINCE! HOUSTON! OILERS!), the UT Basketball team will be playing the Iowa Hawkeyes tonight in Kansas City. The game is part of the CBE Classic, and the winner will face the winner of Pittsburgh/Wichita State in the "championship game" tomorrow night.
As you know, Texas is being massive hyped as a Final Four contender. As you might not know, Iowa is expected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten standings and has already lost to Duquesne and UTSA. Iowa is currently scoring 56 points/game and is ranked 326th out of 346 teams in Offensive Efficiency. That's bad, but it could get even worse, considering that Texas is currently ranked 1st out of the same 346 teams in Defensive Efficiency. Resistable force meeting the immovable object, if you will.
Tip-off is at 9 PM, and the game will be on ESPN2...at a bare minimum, you should flip over and watch this team during commercials of the football game. If you haven't had a chance to watch the 'Horns, this is your chance. I think you're going to like what you see.
Awiggo's Keys to the Game after the jump.
1. Play through James and Pittman: As hyped and as talented as the freshman are, seniors Dexter Pittman and Damion James provide the backbone for this year's club. When Texas is at its best, the ball will pass through at least one of them on each offensive possession. This is especially important tonight as Texas should expect Iowa to try to slow down the tempo and play solid half-court zone defense in an effort to limit overall possessions and post touches by the Texas bigs.
2. Protect the Ball: Freshman point guard J'Covan Brown has a tremendous ceiling but has been a bit sloppy in his first two college games. I'm not worried and you shouldn't be either; however, turnovers could keep Iowa in the game, at least for a little while.
3. Defend the Arc: Iowa is not a deep team nor do they have good interior size. In addition to capitalizing on Texas turnovers, the three pointer is the other way Iowa hangs with the 'Horns. So, far this season, the Hawkeyes have been abysmal from behind the arc, 29%, though.
Prediction: Texas 76, Iowa 51