IOWA CITY, Iowa — The surging Iowa men’s basketball team heads to Minnesota on Wednesday night, looking to extend its three-game winning streak. The Hawkeyes (14-10, 6-5 Big Ten) are tied for fifth place with Michigan State in the league standings and looking to close in on the conference leaders. Iowa beat Nebraska 81-70 on Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota (16-7, 4-6), which opened the season 12-1, is now in the midst of a rough patch, having dropped five of its last six.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch or listen to the matchup between the Hawkeyes and Gophers:
Iowa basketball vs. Minnesota game time, details
Time: 9:06 p.m. ET tipoff
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 8
Location: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minn.
The line: Minnesota is favored by 7-1/2
Which TV channel broadcasts Iowa basketball vs. Minnesota?
The game airs on the Big Ten Network.
How can I watch Iowa basketball vs. Minnesota online?
BTN-Plus will stream the game. Click here for details.
How can I listen to Iowa basketball vs. Minnesota on the radio?
In Iowa, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the flagship radio stations. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates.
Who is calling the Iowa basketball vs. Minnesota game?
Kevin Kugler will handle play-by-play for BTN, while Stephen Bardo will provide analysis. Gary Dolphin will handle play-by-play alongside analyst Bobby Hansen on the Hawkeye Sports Network.
Iowa basketball vs. Minnesota three keys
The real return of Peter Jok
Yes, Jok returned from a back injury against Nebraska, but he admitted it was a warm-up act. He didn’t play poorly against the Cornhuskers, totaling 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, but he didn’t look for his shot. He only attempted 7 field goals. Jok said he wants to be more aggressive Wednesday.
The Iowa offense did perform well with Jok out, the Hawkeyes topping 80 points and shot exactly 50 percent from the field in each of the two games he missed, but the Hawkeyes will be at their best when the team’s top scoring threat starts hunting his shot again.
Keep up the ball movement
Quite possibly the biggest key to Iowa’s offensive success during its winning streak is ball movement. The Hawkeyes had 67 assists on 89 made field goals; if a good shot isn’t there quickly, making the extra pass in the halfcourt set is helping the Hawkeyes.
Ball movement and Jok being more of an offensive factor aren’t independent issues. They can be accomplished at the same time. In fact, teammates are waiting for him to hit a few shots so they can look for him on the offensive end.
Team perimeter defense
Minnesota beats teams with its perimeter scoring. Guard Nate Mason (14.0 points, 5.2 assists) can do a little bit of everything while fellow guard Amir Coffey (12.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists) can take over a game with his scoring ability and athleticism.
Perimeter defense isn’t a strength for the Hawkeyes and one player won’t be asked to shut that backcourt down. Coach Fran McCaffery said it will be a team effort. Giving up open lanes for Mason or Coffey to the basket will make it hard for Iowa to pick up the road victory.