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Devyn Marble, Chris Caird

Iowa guard Devyn Marble drives up court ahead of Drake guard Chris Caird in the 2013 Big Four Classic in Des Moines.

Saturday’s Hy-Vee Big Four Classic basketball double-header will feature a sellout crowd for the first time in its three-year history and the athletic directors of the four schools involved say they plan to continue the event at least through the 2017-18 season.

Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Drake jointly announced Wednesday that the event has been extended for two additional years beyond the original four-year agreement.

The extension means the twin bill will be staged in Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 17, 2016 with Iowa playing UNI and Iowa State playing Drake, and again on Dec. 16, 2017 with Drake playing Iowa and UNI playing Iowa State. Next year’s date is Dec. 19.

Saturday’s doubleheader will feature a game between Iowa State and Drake at 4 p.m., followed by a game between Iowa and UNI, and it will be played in front of a capacity crowd of 15,124. The inaugural Big Four Classic in 2012 drew 13,180 and last year’s event attracted a crowd of 14,512.

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