The Iowa Hawkeyes close out their pre-conference schedule tomorrow with a visit to Missouri. This series started back in 1998 and has featured a number of thrilling games. Iowa coach Steve Alford would like to see the series continue. He says it has been a great border series for the fans, and he says he’ll talk with the Missouri staff to see about extended the matchup.Iowa is 7-2 while Missouri is 4-4 after a stunning loss at home to Belmont. Alford expects to face the Tiger team that was ranked as high as third in mid-December. He says it’s the most talented team they face as far as pure talent goes. Alford says while Missouri has struggled as of late he does not expect to see the Tigers change their style of play.Alford says three Hawkeyes benched for the game against Eastern Illinois will have to earn their way back into the rotation. Erek Hansen, Nick Dewitz and Mike Henderson were suspended by Alford for the last game who cited team “academic concerns.” Alford says a message needed to be sent even if it means relying on seldom used players. He says he got into coaching because the loves the competitiveness, the game of basketball and the lessons that can be learned in and out of the lockerroom. He says one of the lessons is watching others compete in your spot. Alford says he has confidence the players off the bench will play well.