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Iowa to face UNC in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Posted on 01. May, 2014 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

The Iowa Hawkeyes will play at North Carolina on Dec. 3 as part of the 2014 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. News of this match-up was first reported Thursday by Sports Illustrated’s Brian Hamilton.

Iowa last played North Carolina in the championship game of the 2004 Maui Invitational, won by the Tar Heels 106-92. North Carolina went on to win the national championship that season. Prior to that, the Hawkeyes and Tar Heels played each other twice with Iowa winning both times. One of those victories came in the Hawkeyes’ only previous visit to the Dean Smith Center during the 1988-89 season.

This match-up leads to a pair of intriguing storylines. On the North Carolina side of things, junior-t0-be guard Marcus Paige is from Marion, Iowa and played alongside current Hawkeye juniors-to-be Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury on the same AAU team. Paige was also recruited by Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes before choosing to become a Tar Heel. Paige is one of five native Iowans that North Carolina head coach Roy Williams has won recruiting battles for throughout his entire head-coaching tenure dating back to when he coached Kansas and landed Raef LaFrentz.

Then there’s Woodbury, the one native Iowan Williams wasn’t successful at luring away from the Hawkeye State. North Carolina was among the teams heavily recruiting the Sioux City native before he opted to play for McCaffery at Iowa.

The Hawkeyes’ visit to Chapel Hill is one of five known non-conference games for the 2014-15 season. Among the other known match-ups are a home game against Iowa State, Northern Iowa at the Big Four Classic in Des Moines, and two of California, Syracuse and Texas in the 2K Sports Classic on Nov. 20-21 at Madison Square Garden. Iowa will also play two home games as part of the 2K Sports Classic before making the trek to New York City.

Iowa’s contest with North Carolina comes on the third day of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which now starts on Dec. 1 as a result of having 14 games now with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten. Among the other match-ups this year are Wisconsin playing Duke at home, Michigan playing Syracuse at home, Ohio State playing at Louisville and Michigan State playing at Notre Dame.

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