Aaron White agrees with those people who feel this year's participation in the NIT tournament will serve as a building block for the Iowa's future. The freshman is direct about how it will impact the Hawkeyes.
"This is what, our 35th game?" White said. "That's going to help next year when we're making a deep run in the (NCAA) Tournament."
Notice the Ohio native didn't use the word "if."
It's that type of confidence that helped the seventh-seeded Hawkeyes (18-16) knock off No. 2 Dayton, 84-75, in Iowa City on Tuesday. A nearly packed house contributed to a memorable and emotional victory for a team in rebuilding mode.
Iowa hopes to carry that momentum into Sunday's showdown with third-seeded Oregon in Eugene. The winner is scheduled to face No. 1 Washington Tuesday in Seattle. If the Hawkeyes prevail, they'll stay out West for that matchup instead of returning home first.
"They're going to push it on makes and misses," Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. "They're going to change defenses and they spread the ball around. They do a really good job of being unselfish."
The Ducks (23-9) finished in a second-place tie during the PAC-12 regular season. They dismantled LSU 96-76 in their first-round NIT content on Tuesday.
"They played well against LSU and turned them over - 58 points off of turnovers," White said. "I think it will be an up-and-down game. They're a good team."
Oregon averages 72.9 PPG while allowing 67.3. The Hawkeyes score 72.3 per contest and allow 71.4.
"They're a really aggressive offensive team," Iowa sophomore Zach McCabe said. "They play the 1-2 press and get up into you. But we've faced stuff like that all year and we're pretty confident going in there."
The Ducks have won 12 of their last 16 games and have posted a 16-3 mark at home. Iowa has won three of 11 road games this season and just one of its last seven.
Date, Time Location: Sunday at 4:05 p.m. central time in Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena.
TV: ESPNU (HD).
Series: Iowa leads, 5-0. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting, 62-48, in December of 1962.
-Iowa is 14-0 the last two seasons when holding an opponent to fewer to 60 points.
-The teams have played one common opponent - Nebraska - this season. The Ducks won, 83-76, in Lincoln. Iowa split two meetings with the Huskers with each winning on the other team's court.
-Oregon announced a paid crowd of 5,158 for their first-round game against LSU.
-Devoe Joseph, a Minnesota transfer, leads the Ducks in scoring at 17.0 per game. E.J. Singler averages 13.0 points and a team-best 5.4 rebounds a contest.