With a 12-1 record the Iowa coach Steve Alford says the Hawkeyes enter the Big Ten race with “the wind at their backs” and will now try to make some noise in the conference race. The 14th ranked Hawks open at home tonight against Michigan and will try to make their first title run since finishing tied for second in 1997. He says they know they’re not the team Illinois is right now and they’re not playing at the level that Wisconsin and Michigan State have played at the last couple of years. He says though their goal is to win a championship and they’re going to keep that goal until something shows them they can’t do it. He says they have the ability, they just have to keep getting better. It has been an injury plagued season for Michigan which opens the league race 8-5 but Alford knows from personal experience that adversity can be a rallying point. He says they lost a lot of kids last year, but the team played at a high level, he says that’s what Big Ten players do. Alford says the Wolverines have bounced back in the last week. Alford says they played extremely well at UCLA and have won back-to-back home games. The teams met three times last season with Michigan winning two, including a 79-70 win in the Big Ten tournament.
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