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Iowa to Host North Carolina in ACC/Big Ten Challenge


IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team will host North Carolina on Tuesday, Dec. 8, as part of the 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Hawkeyes have won five of their last seven Challenge games, including a 2014 victory over the Tar Heels (60-55) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Iowa will enter this highly anticipated match-up having won three straight Challenge home games: Notre Dame (2013), Florida State (2015), and Pitt (2018).

This will be the fifth overall meeting between the two programs. North Carolina’s lone victory in the series came in the 2004 Maui Invitational Championship Game (106-92). The teams also played a home-and-home series in 1989 and 1990 with the Hawkeyes winning both — 98-97 in Chapel Hill in 1989 and 87-74 in 1990 in Iowa City.

“We’re excited to add North Carolina to our schedule,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “North Carolina is extremely well-coached with a skilled roster that will provide a challenge to our team. This will be an exciting matchup early in the season for college basketball fans.”

Game times and television information will be announced at a later date. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup.

Iowa is coming off a 20-11 season and a fifth-place conference finish with a mark of 11-9. The Hawkeyes have seven players returning with starting experience, including consensus All-American center Luka Garza, and upperclassmen all-conference honorees Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp. Additionally, Iowa returns Connor McCaffery, who led all Division I players in assist-to-turnover ratio a year ago.

North Carolina was plagued by injuries a year ago, posting a 14-19 overall mark, including a 6-14 conference record. Head coach Roy Williams’ 2020-21 roster features nine returners and seven newcomers. A trio of returning starters head the Tar Heels’ lineup, led by second-team All-ACC honoree Garrison Brooks, and Armando Bacot and Leaky Black. Also, a pair of players return after suffering season-ending knee injuries last season, Sterling Manley and Anthony Harris.

In addition to North Carolina, the Hawkeyes are scheduled to face Gonzaga on Dec. 19, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Iowa’s remaining 2020-21 schedule will be announced at a later date.

The 2020-21 Challenge schedule is listed below:

Tuesday, Dec. 8
North Carolina at Iowa

Illinois at Duke

Syracuse at Rutgers

Ohio State at Notre Dame

Purdue at Miami

Boston College at Minnesota

Penn State at Virginia Tech

Wednesday, Dec. 9
Maryland at Clemson

Indiana at Florida State

NC State at Michigan

Pitt at Northwestern

Michigan State at Virginia

Louisville at Wisconsin

Georgia Tech at Nebraska