Big Four Classic

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The Big Four Classic (officially known as the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic for sponsorship reasons) is a four-team basketball event held in Des Moines, Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena featuring the state of Iowa's four NCAA Division I men's basketball programs.


For decades, Iowa State (of the Big 12 Conference) and Iowa (of the Big Ten Conference) had home-and-home series with in-state rivals Drake and Northern Iowa, with Iowa visiting Drake in even-numbered years and Northern Iowa in odd-numbered years (with the corresponding return trips to Iowa in the opposite years) and Iowa State visiting Northern Iowa in even-numbered years and Drake in odd-numbered years. Drake and Iowa State, in particular, played in 104 of 105 seasons.[1]

The event moved to a one-day doubleheader beginning in 2012[2] in the state's capital. Since Drake and Northern Iowa are both members of the Missouri Valley Conference, the rotation will never see them play one another (Iowa and Iowa State continue to play a home-and-home series).

The inaugural event received mixed reviews, with many at Drake and Northern Iowa expressing a preference for a home game [3][4] and the event coming well short of selling out. However, in 2014 the event did sell out for the first time, largely due to Iowa State & Northern Iowa being ranked in the AP Top 25 with Iowa also receiving votes. With increasing limitations on non-conference games for Iowa & Iowa State, the series is likely to continue for years to come and has been extended through the 2017-18 season. [5]

There were hopes for the series to be broadcast nationally. However, no national broadcasters have bought in so far. To date, each game involving Iowa has been broadcast on Big Ten Network while the other game has been broadcast locally by cable provider Mediacom on Mediacom 22.

Results by Year[edit]

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Attendance
December 15, 2012 Iowa 80–73 Northern Iowa 13,180
Iowa State 86–77 Drake
December 7, 2013 Iowa State 91–82* Northern Iowa 14,512
Iowa 83–66 Drake
December 20, 2014 Iowa State 83–54 Drake 15,124
Northern Iowa 56–44 Iowa
December 19, 2015 Iowa vs. Drake
Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
December 17, 2016 Iowa vs. Northern Iowa
Iowa State vs. Drake
December 16, 2017 Iowa vs. Drake
Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
* indicates the number of overtime periods.

Standings by Team[edit]

Team Record Percentage
Iowa State 3–0 1.000
Iowa 2–1 .667
Northern Iowa 1–2 .333
Drake 0–3 .000


External links[edit]