Iowa men’s basketball returns to Sanford Pentagon next season

The Iowa Hawkeyes will return to the Sanford Pentagon in the 2024-25 season when they play the Utah Runnin’ Utes in a nonconference matchup on Dec. 21. This marks the fourth trip to the Pentagon for Iowa and the debut appearance for Utah. Tickets are available to purchase online only at

“Iowa is one of – if not the biggest – draw at the Sanford Pentagon. Their fan base brings an incredible amount of energy to Heritage Court every time the Hawkeyes play here, and the Utes have a rich history of basketball excellence and are now led by a coach who knows South Dakota well.” said Jesse Smith, vice president of operations for Sanford Sports. “Thank you to head coaches Fran McCaffrey and Craig Smith for bringing his team to Sioux Falls for what will be another premier college basketball event.”

The Hawkeyes finished the 2023-24 season with a 19-15 record, advancing to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament before falling to Utah 91-82 Sunday night. Iowa is 2-1 in games played at the Sanford Pentagon. The Hawkeyes beat Colorado, 80-73, on Dec. 22, 2017; lost to No. 1 Gonzaga, 99-88, on Dec. 19, 2020; and defeated Utah State, 94-75, on Nov. 24, 2021

“We are looking forward to returning to Sioux Falls and facing an excellent Utah program,” said McCaffery. “The community and Sanford Pentagon staff always provide a first-class experience for our fans and student-athletes. We’re excited to play in a great venue and to give our fans on the western half of the state an opportunity to see our team play.”

Utah, currently members of the Pac-12 Conference, is 21-14 and will host VCU in the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament on Wednesday. Runnin’ Utes’ head coach Craig Smith has coached several times at the Pentagon during his previous tenures at Utah State and South Dakota.

“We are thrilled to be playing the University of Iowa in a neutral court game in Sioux Falls, S.D.,” said Smith. “The Sanford Pentagon is one of the premier arenas in the country. It’s intimate, loud and has a great sense of history as well as some nostalgia feel to the arena. It’s a vibe. Sioux Falls is a first-class basketball community, and we look forward to playing such a great opponent. The people involved with Sanford that put on this event are first class in every way. We are looking forward to having a great basketball experience.”

Utah has a 2-0 record against Iowa. In addition to the meeting in the NIT this season, the teams last played on Dec. 29, 1964, at the Los Angeles Classic. The Utes downed the Hawkeyes, 92-88.

This is the second NCAA Division I event announced for the 2024-25 season. The Iowa women’s basketball team will play Kansas on Nov. 20


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