Hawkeyes invited to ESPN-hosted hoops tourney in 2015
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Hours before the Iowa basketball team was set to play in one national-spotlight tournament, it was booked for another in one year.
The Hawkeyes will be among eight teams to compete in the Orlando Classic from Nov. 26-29, 2015. Tournament operator ESPN announced Iowa's inclusion Thursday morning.
Seven of the eight teams were announced: Iowa, Alabama, Dayton, Wichita State, Xavier, Notre Dame and Southern California.
The Hawkeyes beat Xavier in the first round of last year's Battle 4 Atlantis. They also beat Notre Dame last season, 98-93, in a fabulous game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa last played Wichita State — a No. 1 seed in last year's NCAA Tournament — in 2012, a 75-63 loss to the Shockers in the Cancun Challenge.
Fran McCaffery's 2014-15 Hawkeyes were set to play No. 10 Texas at 6 p.m. CT Thursday in the 2K Classic semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
The Orlando Classic games will be played in the the HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The venue seats about 5,000. Tournament information is available at orlandoclassic.com.
The dates of the Orlando event are notable. The event is scheduled to begin on Thanksgiving Day through Sunday. That, of course, means it'll overlap with the annual Iowa-Nebraska Black Friday football game, scheduled for Nov. 27 in Lincoln, Neb.