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The Iowa Center Luka Garza fulfills a childhood dream by playing in the NCAA tournament. Listen:
19459019] Mark Emmert, memmert@gannett.com

IOWA CITY, Ia. – The Iowa men's basketball team will enter the NCAA tournament on Friday to face Cincinnati in Columbus, Ohio.

The Hawkeyes (22-11) scored 10 seeds in brackets on Sunday. It is Iowa's first appearance in this tournament in three seasons.

Sophomore Center Luka Garza said the players had followed the selection show in the locker room and were very excited when "Iowa" flashed on the TV screen. With basketball growing up in your back yard, think about organizing the tournament, they are watching all the games in the They dream of excitement They dream of a run If we play as if we were capable of playing, we can play for a while in March. "

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Cincinnati (28-6) is 7 seeds and will play 107 miles from home. The teams have met eight times before, with Cincinnati winning six. The final meeting was a 76-64 loss to Hawkeye at the 2005 tournament in Indianapolis.

"They'll definitely have some fans out there, but I think we'll have some fans out there, too," Garza said. "It's not your home studio, so it's not a home game for them, it's a neutral place."

Iowa went 4-1 in neutral games this season.

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Iowa Center Luka Garza speaks with reporters on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo: Joseph Cress / Iowa City Press-Citizen)

The Bear Cats have upset Houston 69-57 to claim the American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday.

Cincinnati is led by junior guard Jarron Cumberland. who has an average of 18 points and 4 assists per game. The Bearcats are coached by Mick Cronin and will be in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in a row.

Cincinnati prefers to play at a slow pace and occupies Kenpom.com in this category with a 338th place. The Bearcats are 28th in the adjusted defensive efficiency.

The winner of Friday's game will meet on Saturday in Columbus the winner of 2 seed Tennessee and 15 seed Colgate.

If Iowa advances to Sweet 16 in 20 years, he would be in Louisville, Kentucky.

Iowa faces five defeats in their last six games, [74,053] including 74-53 Friday against Michigan in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten tournament. The Hawkeyes were once 20-5 years old and were thought to have 5 seeds. They were rated nationwide for 16 consecutive weeks before ending in late February.

Iowa went 11-0 in the non-conference game, including victories over Iowa State, who won the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday, and Oregon, the 12 tournament champions. The Hawkeyes were 10-10 in the regular season of the Big Ten, which was highlighted by a home win over Michigan. Iowa defeated Illinois in his first big-ten tournament game on Thursday before dropping to Michigan, which finished second.

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The victories over two teams that have won major conference tournaments have undoubtedly helped Iowa get involved in the tournament but not enough to get an 8 or 9 seed, as most experts had predicted. The Hawkeyes are one of eight big-ten teams in the field, most conferences.

"I'm not interested in sowing," said Garza. "We have a great opportunity, and if you're only in March, it does not matter where you sown, we always see it."

This is Iowa's fourth NCAA tournament venue in the nine seasons of Fran McCaffery as head coach. He has a 2-3 record.

The Hawkeyes lost to Tennessee in 2014 in the First Four Round; Defeated Davidson in 2015 as a 7-seed before losing to Gonzaga. and defeated Temple as 7 seeds in 2016 before losing to eventual national winner Villanova.

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WATCH Cincinnati Bearcats win AAC tournament, receiving # 7 in the NCAA
Scott Springer, sspringer@enquirer.com

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