The Iowa Hawkeyes open the final week of the regular season at Northwestern with plenty on the line. A victory would allow the Hawks to avenge a January tenth loss at home to the Wildcats, clinch the first winning Big Ten record during Steve Alford’s tenure and greatly enhance their post-season prospects. They close out the regular season this weekend at Purdue.Alford feels two wins would put the Hawks into the NCAA Tournament. He says they are games they can win, even though they’re against two good teams that don’t lose very often at home. Alford says they’re going into trying to have a lot of fun and see what happens. He says if they end up with two losses, it will make the Big Ten Tournament more important. Alford says there is a way you must play against Northwestern and the Hawks did not do that in the first meeting. He says they have to do a better job and not turn the ball over, while attacking the Northwestern zone defense.Iowa is 8-6 in the Big Ten. Northwestern is 7-7 and considered by many to be the surprise of the conference race. Northwestern coach Bill Carmody says they traditionally haven’t done that well, so he takes the “surprise” label as a complement. Carmody expects a tough matchup, as he says Iowa is playing very well.The Wildcats are 12-13 overall.
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