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Iowa’s Connor McCaffery Took March Madness To New Heights

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Hustling to and from class is the norm for college students.

"We are supposed to be there at 1:15 pm. I might be a little late because my class goes until 12:30 pm," said Connor McCaffery as he walked into his Business Managerial class at the University of Iowa.  For Connor, busy may just be an understatement.

The day's class assignment tasked McCaffery and a small group of classmates to balance the budget of a company.  "I've always been good with numbers.  I loved math classes growing up," he said.

A tougher task may have been balancing the finance major's March schedule as McCaffery juggled books, baseball and basketball for the University of Iowa.  I was playing in the Big Ten tournament Thursday and Friday, then came here to play a double header Sunday and played well."

The NCAA Tournament makes March one of the most exciting times of the year but "March Madness," takes on a different meaning for Connor.  That has to be one of the craziest weeks of my life so far," he said.

On Tuesday March 19th Connor helped the Hawkeyes beat Simpson College on the baseball field. He then helped the basketball team defeat Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament that Friday, coupled with a loss in overtime on Sunday to Tennessee and on Tuesday Connor was back on the baseball field helping Iowa win again against Bradley.  "I tried to be smart about it the best I could and coaches help me with that too," Connor said.  His father and Iowa basketball head coach Fran McCaffery agreed, saying, "It is actually easy.  I work with coach Heller.  I make sure we don't over extend him.  All season long he's been trying to get at-bats so when he's in there he is ready to jump in there and hit the ball."

Connor's performances are not limited to the stadium or arena.  Connor earned a spot on the Big Ten Basketball All-Academic Team.  The academics has always been something that is big for me and I have prided myself in doing well in school.  My mom, she's always been the one on me.  She would threaten to not let me go to tournaments if I didn't study or get my homework done," said Conner.

Handing in homework by day and handing out losses to opponents by night.  That is something I'll look back on and really something I'll always cherish.  Being able to come out here and play baseball but also go participate in the Big Ten tournament and NCAA Tournament.

Memories Connor believes would not have happened if he didn't pursue what he is most passionate about.  "As long as you are locked in to what needs to be done everyday, I think you'll realize there's enough time to be able to do what you love but also be successful in it," said Connor.

This is Connor's first season playing baseball at Iowa after red-shirting a year ago. D1Baseball.com has ranked him the seventh highest major league prospect in the Big Ten Conference.

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