SEATTLE – Iowa's basketball program has some fond NCAA memories of the Emerald City. And some hard-to-swallow ones, too.
Brad Lohaus still smiles at the good memories. He also shakes his head when the bad ones are brought up. This is March Madness, after all.
Iowa came to town to face Oklahoma in a 1987 Sweet 16 game at the Kingdome. The Hawkeyes beat the Sooners 93-91 in overtime, but were denied a trip to the Final Four by No. 1 Nevada-Las Vegas, 84-81.
That was Lohaus' last college game, a memory that is hard to swallow because the Hawkeyes had a 16-point halftime lead that slipped away.
"To this day, that hurts worse than anything," he said Thursday.
Lohaus is back in the city of fame and misfortune. He watched Northern Iowa practice at KeyArena in preparation for Friday's round-of-64 NCAA game against Wyoming. His son, Wyatt, is a freshman guard for the Panthers.
"This is pretty awesome," said Brad, sitting with former Iowa teammate Les Jepsen.
Wyatt's first NCAA game will be played in the same city where his father's career ended.
"I enjoyed the fact that my dad played at Iowa, and in the NBA for awhile (11 seasons)," Wyatt said. "It's a cool experience, a cool connection."
There's a second Iowa-Northern Iowa tie to the 1980s. The Panthers' Jeremy Morgan, a sophomore guard, is the son of Michael Morgan, who was on Hawkeye teams that played NCAA games here in 1987 and 1988.
"I think that's pretty crazy," Wyatt said. "It's pretty cool that our dads were teammates, and now we're teammates 28 years later in the same city."
Michael Morgan was a junior in 1987 and returned to the Kingdome for the 1988 Sweet 16. Arizona beat Iowa 99-79 to end Morgan's career. And now Jeremy's first NCAA experience will come in the same city.
Jeremy said he wasn't aware of his dad's NCAA Seattle connection before someone mentioned it to him after he got to town.
"That's pretty cool," Jeremy said. "My dad doesn't talk too much about his glory days. It's just fun to be out here, in a new place, a new city, and with all these guys."
Two years ago, Brad Lohaus started going through videotapes he had from Iowa's 1986-87 season. A season that ended with a 30-5 and a week as the nation's No. 1 team. Wyatt watched some of his dad's finest moments.
"I was sorting through them, and popping them into the VCR," Brad said. "We were zipping through the commercials and watching. Since then I've had them converted into DVDs."
With one exception. The UNLV game.
Brad has it on videotape, but said he'll never watch it again.
"He doesn't like to talk about that a whole lot," Wyatt said.
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