Iowa Big Four men's college basketball

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Hy-Vee Classic
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016-2017
Big 4 Classic logo.png
Hy-Vee Classic Logo
Sport Basketball
Founded 1979 (Round robin)
2012 (Big 4 Classic)
No. of teams 4
Country United States
Headquarters Iowa
Most recent
champion(s)
Iowa (2016-2017)
Most titles Iowa (14)
Related
competitions
Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, and Missouri Valley Conference

The Hy-Vee Classic consists of games between Iowa's four NCAA Division I men's basketball teams: Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Drake. Currently, the rivalry consists of a one-day two game event at Wells Fargo Arena each December, originally called the Big Four Classic but now known as the Hy-Vee Classic, Iowa and Iowa State playing each other in an ongoing-home and home series, and Drake and Northern Iowa playing each other regularly as members of the Missouri Valley Conference.

History[edit]

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 UNI, 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]

In the 2000s, Iowa State, wanting to gain a greater presence in the Des Moines area, offered and played multiple games at Wells Fargo Arena with various teams. When they offered Drake the opportunity to move their rivalry to Wells Fargo Arena, Drake declined. Iowa and Iowa State also offered Drake and UNI money to play only in Iowa City/Ames but both schools declined. [2]

During the 2010/2011 seasons, Iowa and Iowa State began to feel pressure to open up additional slots in their non-conference schedule to allow for more games against Power 5 conference in hopes of building a strong non-conference schedule for consideration for at-large bids for future NCAA Tournaments. Drake and Northern Iowa did not want to lose the match-ups. A neutral site concept was seen as the best for everyone involved and the Big Four Classic was born. [3]

Hy-Vee signed on as the sponsor of the event. The initial contract ran from 2012-2015. It was later extended to 2017. As part of the 2019 extension, the event was renamed the Hy-Vee Classic. [4][5]

Hy-Vee Classic[edit]

The event is held on the third Saturday of December. In 2013 the event was moved to the first Saturday of December, but attendance from students preparing for finals dropped considerably so the event was moved back to the third Saturday, although all four universities host December Commencement exercises on the day.

The event consists of two games played back to back. Initially, in even numbered years, Iowa played Northern Iowa and Drake played Iowa State. In odd numbered years, Iowa played Drake and Northern Iowa played Iowa State. The even-odd rotation was switched as part of the 2016-2019 extension. The schools also rotate hosting duties in this order: Iowa, Drake, Iowa State, Northern Iowa.

Which game is first/second and at what times is largely determined by television. Initially there was hope for both games making it to national television audiences, however this has largely been unsuccessful to date due to college football bowl games and other established basketball events on the same day nationally. The Big Ten & Big 12 have rights to the games Iowa and Iowa State respectively are played in. If both conference TV partners pass on the game, ESPN can televise through the Missouri Valley Conference's deal with the network. Otherwise, the games will air locally on Mediacom 22. [2] In 2015, the Iowa State-Northern Iowa game broadcast on ESPNU (aided by both teams being ranked) and the Drake-Iowa game was broadcast on ESPN3 marking the first national television broadcast from the event.

Financially, the four schools split revenue 25-25-25-25. This has resulted in Drake and UNI making a much larger profit than they did, although it does come at the expense of the loss of a major home game each year. [6] The event did not sell out in its first year, but has each year since. [7]

In addition to the loss of on-campus home games against in-state rivals, Drake and Northern Iowa play either Iowa or Iowa State, but not both in the same season. As Drake and Northern Iowa cannot play each other in the classic due to their Missouri Valley Conference affiliations, there is no way to formally determine an official champion between the four schools in a tournament-style format.

Regular season results[edit]

Key[edit]

Drake victories
Iowa State victories
Iowa victories
UNI victories
No title/game

Round-Robin era[edit]

Season Winner Drake – ISU score Drake – Iowa score Drake – UNI score Drake – UNI score (2) ISU – UNI score ISU – Iowa score Iowa – UNI score
1979–80 Iowa 87–66 66–77 DNP DNP DNP 64–67 78–46
1980–81 Iowa 72–74 68–90 DNP DNP 83–69 59–85 86–52
1981–82 Iowa 72–56 49–60 62–58 DNP 78–65 68–79 84–53
1982–83 Iowa 47–52 63–68 73–65 DNP 73–50 56–73 DNP
1983–84 Iowa State 72–79 OT 43–66 55–67 DNP 91–75 76–72 2OT DNP
1984–85 Iowa State 73–74 DNP DNP DNP 69–61 54–50 DNP
1985–86 77–69 43–55 DNP DNP 83–60 74–61 DNP
1986–87 Iowa 51–55 62–69 86–52 DNP 79–60 64–89 DNP
1987–88 Iowa State 77–83 57–70 88–77 DNP 80–75 102–100 OT DNP
1988–89 Iowa 66–80 72–96 72–87 DNP 88–80 71–91 95–76
1989–90 114–117 OT 54–68 63–71 OT DNP 92–80 87–89 74–77
1990–91 Iowa 69–86 61–80 67–83 DNP 62–68 73–75 72–68
1991–92 Iowa State 61–92 56–83 51–56 84–96 84–66 98–84 108–85
1992–93 Iowa 81–119 65–80 69–59 62–64 OT 74–67 51–78 64–44
1993–94 Iowa State 67–83 86–90 54–71 79–102 79–66 86–79 81–76
1994–95 Iowa State 69–94 68–103 78–67 82–71 81–62 76–63 80–48
1995–96 Iowa 62–65 66–98 76–82 66–83 DNP 50–56 78–73
1996–97 Iowa State 50–74 59–79 68–81 55–76 DNP 81–74 72–63
1997–98 Northern Iowa 63–61 60–90 60–74 55–68 48–54 59–60 78–84
1998–99 Iowa 56–57 74–78 78–72 57–83 57–61 53–74 83–67
1999–2000 Iowa State 48–44 76–83 2OT 58–54 54–56 73–41 79–66 67–59
2000–01 Iowa 55–75 71–73 65–63 65–71 OT 69–55 68–80 74–42
2001–02 Northern Iowa 72–58 59–101 56–71 71–77 88–69 53–78 76–78
2002–03 Iowa State 55–76 49–50 75–73 48–59 75–73 73–69 63–54
2003–04 Iowa State 77–83 56–74 56–76 79–84 OT 79–76 84–76 66–77
2004–05 Iowa 46–73 75–91 81–72 60–61 82–99 63–70 76–73
2005–06 Iowa State 74–89 60–65 72–91 49–51 68–61 72–60 63–67 OT
2006–07 Drake 80–78 75–59 74–61 67–59 70–57 59–77 57–55
2007–08 Drake 79–44 56–51 58–54 65–55 61–48 56–47 62–55
2008–09 Drake 66–63 60–43 59–81 47–46 71–66 57–73 65–46
2009–10 Northern Iowa 70–90 67–71 51–67 48–57 60–63 81–71 67–50
2010–11 43–91 52–59 49–69 72–69 54–60 75–72 51–39
2011–12 Northern Iowa 74–65 68–82 68–83 52–66 62–69 86–76 60–80

Hy-Vee Classic era[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 70–64 Drake 15,424
Northern Iowa 81–79 Iowa State
December 17, 2016 Iowa 69–46 Northern Iowa 15,028
Iowa State 97–80 Drake
December 16, 2017 Iowa vs. Drake
Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
* indicates the number of overtime periods.

Outright Big Four Championships by team[edit]

Team Championships Last Season Claimed
Iowa 14 2016–17
Iowa State 12 2013–14
Northern Iowa 6 2015–16
Drake 3 2008–09

Big Four Classic standings by team[edit]

Team Record Percentage
Iowa 4–1 .800
Iowa State 4-1 .800
Northern Iowa 2–3 .400
Drake 0–5 .000

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]