What Is the History of the Hawkeye Basketball Team?


Quick Answer

The University of Iowa Hawkeye men's basketball program includes at least 24 NCAA Tournament appearances, eight Big Ten regular season championships, two conference tournament championships, three Final Fours and one national runner-up finish. At least 23 coaches have led the program, which began play with the 1901-02 season. At least 53 former Hawkeyes have been selected in the NBA Draft.

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Full Answer

Iowa's best year as a program came with the 1955-56 season, when they finished with a 20-6 record before falling 83-71 to a Bill Russell-led San Francisco team in the national title game. The 1979-80 season saw the Hawkeyes defeat Virginia Commonwealth, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Georgetown, before falling to Louisville in the National Semi-final and Purdue in the third-place game. Iowa notched a school-record 30 victories in 1986-87 and reached the Elite Eight before falling to top-seeded UNLV.

The first coach in program history was Ed Rule, who guided the Hawkeyes to a 32-14 record during his four seasons with the school. With 269 career hardwood victories and nine NCAA Tournament appearances, Tom Davis is the all-time winningest coach in Iowa history; Davis' final year at the helm was 1998-99.

Hawkeye players in the NBA have been a part of at least 13 world championships. Former player Don Nelson won five NBA titles as a player with the Boston Celtics in the 1960s and 70s and eventually became the NBA's all-time winningest coach. Other notable Hawkeyes that went on to lengthy NBA playing careers include Brad Lohaus, B.J. Armstrong, Kevin Gamble, Matt Bullard and Ricky Davis.

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