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Iowa players stretch before a recent home game.

If Iowa basketball held foes to less than 90 points, the wins would nearly triple

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ANSWER: Iowa has surrendered 90-plus points in 14 games over the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. As expected, the Hawkeyes are 2-12 in those games. The only wins have come in overtime against Illinois this season and Indiana last season. Rather than review just five years, let’s go through the Fran McCaffery era.

To calculate your question, really you have to split McCaffery’s eight-year tenure into three zones and erase all nuance. In McCaffery’s two most recent years, had Iowa held all 14 opponents below 90 points, the Hawkeyes would have beaten four more opponents — Michigan State on Tuesday, and Memphis, Nebraska and TCU last season. Iowa also would have tied Minnesota and Nebraska-Omaha in the 2016-17 season. Had Iowa held every opponent to less than 90 points the last two years, it would have been 6-6-2 in those games.

In the previous four seasons from 2012-13 through 2015-16, Iowa gave up 90 points just six times — and just once combined in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Iowa was 1-4 in those games and would have tied one opponent (Indiana) had the Hoosiers scored 89. Iowa’s defense in that era was much better. Center Adam Woodbury was a rim protector, defensive signal caller and enforcer in the post. Guards Anthony Clemmons and Mike Gesell were good on-ball defenders and Clemmons was terrific in battling shooting guards. Forward Jarrod Uthoff equally could defend in the post or the perimeter with his length. Plus, Aaron White and Gabe Olaseni played in three of those seasons and were good defenders as well.

In McCaffery’s first two seasons, Iowa gave up 90 points a combined five times and lost all five games. Iowa would have beaten Oregon in a sizzling 108-97 NIT second-round loss. The Hawkeyes would have tied Indiana in another game. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers like to get up and down the floor.

So in the McCaffery era, Iowa has given up 90-plus points 25 times and Iowa has won three. Had the Hawkeyes held opponents to fewer than 90 points in each of those games, their record would have been 8-13-4.

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