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Iowa's bid for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance could get an assist from its nonconference basketball schedule released Thursday.

The Hawkeyes will play just six of their 12 nonconference games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Four will be played at neutral sites and two more on the road.

"The toughest schedule we've ever had," said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, entering his sixth season.

Iowa's road games will be at Marquette on Nov. 19 in the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games and at Iowa State on Dec.10.

On neutral floors will be a Dec. 19 game against Drake in the Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines and an appearance in the Advocare Invitational Nov. 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. The Hawkeyes will play three games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, starting with an 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day game against Dayton that will be televised by ESPN2.

Notre Dame plays Monmouth on the other side of Iowa's bracket. Wichita State plays Southern California and Alabama meets Xavier to round out the field. The Hawkeyes' second game will be played Nov. 27, with the final one taking place Nov. 29.

The highlight of Iowa's six home games is a Dec. 2 contest with Florida State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Iowa will also play two home exhibition games, instead of one as has been the case in recent seasons. The Hawkeyes host the University of Sioux Falls on Oct. 29 and Augustana of South Dakota on Nov. 6. Iowa officially opens the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Gardner-Webb.

IOWA'S 2015-16 NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE

October: 29 – University of Sioux Falls (exhibition), TBD.

November: 6 – Augustana (S.D.), exhibition, TBD; 13 – Gardner-Webb, TBD; 15 – Coppin State, TBD; 19 – at Marquette (Gavitt Tipoff Games), TBD; 26 – vs. Dayton in Advocare Invitational, Orlando, Fla., 8 p.m.; 27 – Notre Dame or Monmouth in Advocare Invitational, TBD; 29 – Advocare Invitational.

December: 2 – Florida State (ACC/Big Ten Challenge), TBD; 5- Missouri-Kansas City, TBD; 7 – Western Illinois, TBD; 10 – at Iowa State, TBD; 19 – vs. Drake (Big Four Classic), Des Moines, TBD; 22 – Tennessee Tech, TBD.

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