Earlier this week, the Iowa Hawkeyes released a statement detailing an intriguing addition to the team’s upcoming non-conference slate. The Hawkeyes announced that they would be playing Oregon State in Sioux Falls, SOuth Dakota in late December.
Here’s the official release:
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team will return to South Dakota for a nonconference game against Oregon State on Dec. 22, 2020. The Hawkeyes and Beavers will meet at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Tickets will go on sale on sale at a later date. Television coverage will determine a start time.
The contest will be Iowa’s second trip to the Pentagon, which has hosted 28 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games since opening in 2013. The Hawkeyes defeated Colorado, 80-73, on Dec. 22, 2017. This will be Oregon State’s first visit to the Pentagon.
Major Division I games take many months to negotiate and finalize, and this matchup was in the works well before COVID-19 concerns developed. The Sanford Pentagon will work closely with the schools and individual states and be ready to adjust based on guidelines and safety measures for all involved.
“We’re excited to have a basketball game to talk about, and we hope it will be played in front of a full house on national television, but if that may not be the case, adjustments will be made,” said Steve Young, president of Sanford Sports.” It’s a thrill to welcome Iowa and their fans back to the Pentagon, and we know the Beavers and their fans will have a memorable experience as well.
A member of the Big Ten Conference, Iowa is coming off a 20-11 season, and a fifth place conference finish with a mark of 11-9. The Hawkeyes were scheduled to play Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament before the game and tournament were cancelled to due COVID-19 concerns.
Iowa is an unofficial preseason Top-5 team for the 2020-21 season. All-American center Luka Garza has declared for the NBA Draft, but has left open the possibility of returning to school for his senior season. The Hawkeyes have six other players returning with starting experience, including upperclassmen all-conference honorees Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp, and Connor McCaffery, who led all Division I players in assist-to-turnover ratio a year ago.
“We are thrilled to return to Sioux Falls and play another game at the Sanford Pentagon,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “The community response to our last visit three years ago was overwhelming. We look forward to the opportunity to play against a well-coached Oregon State team.”
Oregon State, a member of the Pac-12 Conference, finished the 2019-20 season with an 18-13 record. The Beavers were scheduled to play the Oregon Ducks before the game and tournament were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We’re really looking forward to being a part of such an incredible event,” said Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle. “We’ve heard nothing but great things about the Sanford Pentagon and the atmosphere around the game. We know we’re facing a very tough opponent in Iowa, but it should be a terrific experience for our team.”
The last time these two teams faced off on the basketball court was 37 years ago. The Beavers beat the Hawkeyes, 53-48, on Dec. 10, 1983, in Corvallis, Oregon.
It figures to be an interesting matchup next season.