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Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has a discussion with official D.J. Carstensen during a game last season.

ACC hoops trip provides a sad trombone to Iowa’s nonconference slate, uniform numbers and Aaron Mallett’s race for history

The best way to start your day is right here at as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 7 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Friday, June 9.

Back on Tobacco Road

Matchups for the 19th Big Ten-ACC Challenge were announced Thursday, and Iowa will play on the road for the second consecutive season.

The trip to Virginia Tech certainly wasn’t expected by those in charge at Carver-Hawkeye Arena headquarters. When Iowa was given notice last fall it wouldn’t compete in the Gavitt Games between the Big Ten and Big East, the Hawkeyes went looking for a road or neutral-site game. It found a partner in Colorado, and the teams will play Dec. 22 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The troubling part for Iowa is all of its high-value nonconference games this year are on the road or at neutral sites. The Hawkeyes play at instate rival Iowa State and meet Drake in Des Moines. Iowa plays three games against quality opponents in the Cayman Islands Classic and Colorado in Sioux Falls.

According to the team’s signed contracts, Iowa is hosting Chicago State and Southern Utah. Three or four other nonconference opponents are likely to play in Iowa City, too. That’s not going to motivate many people to fill Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Luckily, the Hawkeyes should get one early-December Big Ten game at home, which will break up the dull slate.

Part of the blame goes to the NCAA, which loosened up all restrictions on early-season tournaments in 2006. Teams formerly played home-and-home nonconference series because they could compete in exempt tournaments just twice every 4 years. Iowa and Missouri, for instance, played nine times from 1996 through 2004. Now the Hawkeyes only annual series is against Iowa State, and any other high-profile home games are arranged through the Big Ten.


Nov. 10 or 11 — Chicago State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Nov. 12-18 — First-round Cayman Islands Classic opponent at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (date, opponent TBA)

Nov. 20-22 — Three games at Cayman Islands Classic; field includes Cincinnati, Alabama-Birmingham, Wyoming, Buffalo, South Dakota State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Richmond

Nov. 26-28 — at Virginia Tech, Big Ten-ACC Challenge (date TBA)

Dec. 7 — at Iowa State

Dec. 16 — Big Four Classic vs. Drake at Des Moines

Dec. 19 — Southern Utah at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Dec. 22 — vs. Colorado at Sioux Falls, S.D.

Big Ten-ACC Challenge, part 19

Success in the challenge largely has swung like a pendulum. The ACC owned the series the first 9 years, then the Big Ten either won it outright or tied it in the next 8 seasons. Last year, the ACC won the series for the first time since 2007.

Iowa once was the worst team in the challenge for either side. It lost 10 of its first 12 and location didn’t matter. Then Fran McCaffery’s crew won three straight from 2014-16, including games against Notre Dame, North Carolina and Florida State. Last year, the Fighting Irish beat the Hawkeyes in South Bend, Ind.

Here is a look at the matchups this year. Times, dates and channels remain undetermined.

2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Matchups

Northwestern at Georgia Tech Michigan at North Carolina Iowa at Virginia Tech
Duke at Indiana Clemson at Ohio State Wisconsin at Virginia
Notre Dame at Michigan State Louisville at Purdue Maryland at Syracuse
Miami at Minnesota Florida State at Rutgers Illinois at Wake Forest
Penn State at N.C. State Boston College at Nebraska

Here are the team records in the 197-game series spanning 18 years:

ACC (109-88) — Duke 16-2; Wake Forest 11-5; Virginia 11-6; Maryland 10-5; Clemson 10-7; North Carolina 9-9; Florida State 7-11; Boston College 6-3; Georgia Tech 6-10; North Carolina State 6-11; Miami 5-5; Virginia Tech 4-7; Notre Dame 3-1; Louisville 2-1; Pittsburgh 2-2; Syracuse 1-3

Big Ten (88-109) — Minnesota 9-9; Purdue 9-7; Wisconsin 9-9; Penn State 8-8; Michigan 7-9; Ohio State 7-9; Michigan State 7-10; Illinois 8-10; Northwestern 8-10; Indiana 7-9; Iowa 5-11; Nebraska 3-3; Maryland 0-3; Rutgers 1-2

Note: Maryland competed in the ACC until 2014

By the numbers

Iowa’s three incoming men’s basketball players received their jersey numbers on Thursday. Center Luka Garza will become the first player since Greg Helmers in 1998 to wear No. 55. Forward Jack Nunge will don No. 2, which recently was worn by Josh Oglesby (2011-12 through 2014-15) and Andrew Fleming (2015-16). Connor McCaffery, who plans to redshirt this year as he plays baseball, will wear No. 30. While Brandon Hutton wore that jersey number in 2015-16, Aaron White made it famous in his spectacular career from 2011 through 2015.

Racing for history

Iowa hurdler Aaron Mallett has a chance to win Iowa’s first men’s gold in an NCAA individual running event in 60 years Friday. Mallett, who entered the NCAA meet as the top seed in the 110-meter hurdles, hit three hurdles in a semifinal but still placed fourth overall in 13.44 seconds. The top time was recorded by Illinois’ David Kendziera in 13.39. Mallett beat Kendziera by .23 seconds at the Big Ten track and field championships last month.

Mallett wants to avoid the same situation that occurred at the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA indoor championships. He hit a hurdle and finished in last place.

“My motto has been take it one step at a time,” Mallett said. “Don’t rush things. Because if you rush things, you get tense and you kind of mess up.

“I know I’m not a last-place finisher.”

ESPN will air the race live at 8:12 p.m. CT.