IOWA CITY - After five years without, the University of Iowa men's basketball team will lace it up in the postseason with an NIT first-round game tonight against Dayton at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes (17-16) are a No. 7-seed and are hosting the No. 2 Flyers (20-12). Dayton's home court is being used for the NCAA tournament first round tonight and Wednesday.
Iowa was last in the postseason in 2006 with its appearance in the NCAA tournament. The five-year hiatus between trips in the longest for the program since the 1970s.
Senior Matt Gatens is averaging 21.1 points per game over the last seven contests. The Iowa City has been through the hard time of the last few winters for the Hawkeyes and only the second player in program history to have 1,600 points, 450 rebounds, 250 assists and 125 steals in a career will end things in the postseason.
Gatens is the first to ever lead Iowa in free throw percentage in four consecutive seasons and became the seventh to pace the team in scoring three straight years.
As Iowa rebuilds, its second- through sixth-leading scorers are all either sophomores or freshmen.
Dayton at Iowa
NIT First Round
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Dayton is led by Kevin Dillard's 13 points, 6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. The Flyers tied for fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Josh Parker, a Drake transfer, is contributing 8.7 ppg.
This is Dayton's fifth straight postseason (four NITs and an NCAA). The Flyers have a 16-6 mark against teams from BCS conferences over the span.
Tonight's winner advances to the second round pared against the winner of Oregon vs. LSU.