With three freshman starting for the Iowa men's basketball, including South Sioux City's Mike Gesell and Sioux City East's Adam Woodbury, is 11-2 and undefeated at home in non-conference play.
But now, the real test begins as Iowa opens Big Ten Conference play with No. 5 Indiana on Monday.
Iowa might have one of the toughest schedules to open up league action.
After battling the Hoosiers on New Year's Eve, three of the Hawkeyes next five opponents are all ranked in the top 25, including No. 2 Michigan, No. 19 Michigan State and No. 10 Ohio State.
It's a grueling stretch for Iowa, but Head Coach Fran McCaffery says the team has done well in staying focused.
"You know we haven't even mentioned who we play after Indiana," McCaffery said. "You know, I'm not going to lie to you, I was worried we were locked in for Iowa State and Northern Iowa and then two games before we played Indiana, and that was a time when I was worried about us looking ahead."
"I'm pumped, you know. The Big Ten Conference is one of the best in the nation," freshman Mike Gesell said. "Just getting out there and to get to open up probably in front of a sold out home crowed, it's going to be a lot of fun."
Iowa and Indiana tip off at 3:05 on New Year's Eve. The game can be seen on ESPN 2.
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