The Iowa Hawkeyes open the NIT at home tonight against Dayton. The Hawks finished the regular season 17-16 and will be making their first post-season appearance since 2006. The Flyers are 20-12 and finished with a 9-7 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery says Dayton has great quickness, they shoot a ton of threes and says getting 20 wins in the Atlantic 10 is “quite a statement.” Like the Hawkeyes, the Flyers want to play at a high tempo.
“We’re going to have to play the type of defense we’ve been playing lately, this is a very good team off the dribble. They’ve got tremendouse guard play, they’ve got a number of different shooters, they’ve got solid post play, they run a lot of ball screens, and they’re going to attack our defense in every way,” McCaffery says.
It will be the first post season game for Iowa senior guard Matt Gatens. “It means a lot to have another chance to play in Carver, it’d be great to go out with a win,” Gatens says.
Gatens says the Hawks want to make the most of the opportunity, as he says they wanted to be in the NCAA Tournament, but the NIT is a very good alternative and a great step forward for the program.