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Big 4 Basketball in Des Moines

April 12, 2012

It had been rumored for months and today it finally became official.  The Big 4 Men’s basketball teams in the state of Iowa will play a doubleheader at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines in place of the annual round robin games the schools played against each other.

My first reaction to hearing that this could happen was in a word:  lame.  Lame to both Iowa and Iowa State that they no longer wanted to play the two smaller Division I schools in the state, Drake and Northern Iowa.

Obviously this has a lot to do with the fact that the two smaller schools starting competing if not beating the two larger schools on a regular basis.  Iowa and Iowa State have everything to lose by playing these games and nothing to gain because they are expected to win.  The other reason is both Iowa and Iowa State not wanting to give up a home date to either Drake or Northern Iowa every year.  In these current budget days of pinching pennies, all needs to be done to generate income.

Today though, after I began to think about it some more, I found myself liking the idea.  Yes it’s too bad that UNI and Drake will no longer be playing both Iowa and ISU every year but having all four schools in one venue on the same evening for a doubleheader will definately be fun.

A four year contract was agreed to by all four athletic directors (Gary Barta-Iowa; Jamie Pollard-ISU; Sandy Hatfield Clubb-Drake and Troy Dannen-UNI). The event this year will take place on December 15th and UNI will play Iowa and Drake will take on Iowa State (times and television TBA).

It will rotate every other year during the duration of the contract.  Each school will also serve as the host of the event and Iowa will be this year’s host.

Iowa and Iowa State will continue to play each other on an annual basis.

Des Moines Register first made news of the story here:  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120412/SPORTS/120412022/Register-exclusive-Big-Four-men-s-hoops-tournament-will-be-played-in-D-M-

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