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Iowa basketball beefing up non-con schedule

May 2, 2013 - Andy Heintz
Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery is learning from his own mistakes.

A poor non-conference schedule this past season may have cost the surging Iowa Hawkeyes a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

McCaffery and the program made an effort to change that Thursday when the Hawkeyes backed out of the Great Alaskan Shootout in favor of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

“Both the Great Alaska Shootout and Battle 4 Atlantis are phenomenal tournaments,” said McCaffery. “The Great Alaska Shootout is a tournament rich in tradition, while the Battle 4 Atlantis is an exciting new tournament that began two years ago. We are excited about this new opportunity for our program and fans.”

The Battle 4 Atlantis is held over Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 28-30 and is held annually at the Atlantis Royal Towers Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. The Great Alaskan Shootout is held during that same time frame.

Iowa likely made the switch because of better competition and more of a payout.

Battle 4 Atlantis also will include Kansas, Tennessee, Villanova, USC, Wake Forest, UTEP and Xavier and will pay out around $250,000 to each team.

The annual tournament in Alaska rarely pays out six figures and the best teams playing in the tourney include NCAA qualifier Harvard as well as NIT representatives Indiana State and Denver.

"Obviously we're very disappointed to lose Iowa," said UAA associate athletic director Tim McDiffett. "We're very fortunate at this late date to get a replacement."

The Battle 4 Atlantis enters its third year, with Harvard winning the tournament title in 2011 and Duke in 2012.

Tournament matchups and television information will be announced at a later date.

This is a great decision by the folks at Iowa. The Hawkeyes should be very competitive next season and what better way to showcase that talent and to see where they are at, then to play in this tournament.

Playing in the Great Alaskan Shootout would have been an upgrade from this past season. Playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis is even better.

Good play Iowa. Well done.


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