Anthony Clemmons, Kevin Ferrell

Anthony Clemmons sits out Iowa’s exhibition victory with ankle injury

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In their lone exhibition game before opening the season against UNC Wilmington on Friday night the Iowa Hawkeyes coasted past Augustana (Ill.) by the final score of 87-65. Zach McCabe and Aaron White led the way offensively for Fran McCaffery’s team with 16 points apiece and sophomore center Adam Woodbury posted a double-double, accounting for ten points and 11 rebounds.

But the Hawkeyes didn’t have all hands on deck, as sophomore point guard Anthony Clemmons sat after injuring his ankle in practice on Friday. Clemmons, who averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 assists per game last season, sat as a precautionary measure with McCaffery stating after the game that he would have played if there were a need for him to go according to John Bohnenkamp of the Burlington (Iowa) Hawk Eye.

McCaffery expects him to play in Friday’s opener against UNC-Wilmington.

“He’ll be good,” McCaffery said. “He was still a little bit swollen, a little bit sore today. If he had to, he could have gone. It wasn’t worth pushing it.”

Iowa doesn’t lack for options when it comes to who initiates their offense, with sophomore Mike Gesell (five assists on Sunday) and senior Devyn Marble (15.0 ppg, 3.0 apg in 2012-13) both having experience at the position. If all their key players remain healthy, the Hawkeyes have the pieces needed to make a run at an NCAA tournament berth after winning 25 games and reaching the title game of the Postseason NIT last season.

Iowa’s toughest non-conference games won’t come until the latter portion of November, as they host Penn on November 22 (Fran McCaffery’s alma mater) and then play in the Battle 4 Atlantis the following week. Iowa opens that event with Xavier, followed by either Tennessee or UTEP with both Kansas and Villanova on the other side of the bracket.

Iowa also has non-conference games against Notre Dame (December 3) and Iowa State (December 13) before opening Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve against Nebraska.

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.