For the first time since at least the mid-2000s, both Iowa and Iowa State head into their annual December matchup with legitimate NCAA tournament expectations.
Those postseason hopes will take a hit for the loser of Friday night's showdown in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes (7-2) and Cyclones (6-2) each have lost to the two best teams they've played; Iowa to No. 24 Wichita State and Virginia Tech, and Iowa State to No. 11 Cincinnati and No. 21 UNLV.
Each team could use a quality nonconference win before league play starts. What better way to grab one than at the expense of your rival?
Fans on both sides of this rivalry have long pegged Friday night as the first time since perhaps 2006 — when Iowa reached the NCAA tournament and Iowa State was expected to — that there would be more than simple bragging rights on the line.