When Iowa visits Iowa State on Friday, it will be the first time in 26 years since they've met as ranked teams. In that game in 1987, ISU won 102-100 in overtime in probably the best game in the series.
This year, the Cyclones are ranked 17th at 7-0. The Hawkeyes are 23rd with a 10-1 record.
Iowa State had to rally from 18 points behind in the second half tom beat UNI on Saturday, 91 to 82. The Cyclones are third in the nation in scoring at over 91 points a game. ISU is also second nationally in assists per game -- and they lead the country with 36 defensive rebounds a game.
Because of the intense rivalry, the Cyclones will face their biggest test Friday.
"It's going to be a very tough game, we know that," said Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. "It's a fun game to be a part of. I loved playing in this series and it's fun to be a part of it coaching as well. I know how special it is for the fans."
"I've waited a whole year for this to come around again, for them to come to our place and to feel our hostile crowd and our environment," said ISU sophomore Georges Niang. "I've been counting the days down for this game."
Iowa had five players in double figures last night in a 92-59 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Hawks beat the Cyclones 80 to 71 last year in Iowa City, breaking a 3-year losing streak to Iowa State. The series is dead even at 12 wins apiece over the last 24 years.
The Hawkeyes are ready to enter their most hostile environment of the season when they travel to Hilton Coliseum.
"It's a team with a lot of weapons, you can see that," said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. "They've got athletes, they've got shooters so they can beat you in a lot of different ways. It's going to be a great atmosphere, a great environment and we'll be ready."
"It will be an intense atmosphere. I think composure obviously plays a part," said Iowa senior Melsahn Basabe. "We'll come ready for battle Friday. You can't talk too much or say what you're going to do. I think it's just about going out and a proving it."
Tipoff is at 8:30 Friday on ESPN U.
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