Fran McCaffery’s squad faces a difficult challenge tonight inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena against No. 2-ranked Ohio State.
The Buckeyes (14-0, 1-0) possess an explosive offense and stifling defense that should present major difficulties for the Hawkeyes. Thad Matta’s squad averages 82.8 points per game and has held opponents to only 54.7 this season.
Ohio State heads into tonight’s contest having yet to be challenged by an opponent this season. Its closest margin of victory was 11 points against IUPUI on Dec. 9.
McCaffery is still looking for his first Big Ten win as coach of the Hawkeyes. Iowa dropped its Big Ten opener, 87-77, to Illinois on Dec. 29.
If McCaffery is to get that first victory tonight, Iowa will have a find a way to stop freshman phenom Jared Sullinger. Sullinger averages 17.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes this season.
Stopping Sullinger isn’t the Hawkeyes only challenge, however. Four other Buckeyes average double-figures.
Simply put, Iowa (7-6, 0-1) will have to play its best game if they are to upset the second-best team in the country.
Iowa tips off against Ohio State at 8:06 p.m. central time and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.