BASKETBALL

Iowa Basketball Schedule Released

Here is the Iowa men’s basketball schedule.  Thoughts below:

The Hawks are watering down the out of conference schedule this year, by a lot.  Longwood?  Who the heck is that?  It’s the type of schedule that could hurt if Iowa is a bubble team, and I think they will be. It’s also the type of schedule that makes it really important to beat either Iowa State or Virginia, as those are road games, and go .500 in the Big Ten….but about that B1G slate…

Iowa begins Big Ten play at Purdue and home against Illinois the first week of December.  Whoa.  Purdue is going to be the preseason pick to win the league and likely receive Final Four talk, while Illinois will also be picked as a Top Four team in the league as well.  Yeah, they lost Ayo, but Kofi Cockburn is back and they have some talented guards who are ready to take that next step.

Iowa picks back up with Big Ten play against Maryland at home, and then on the road at Wisconsin.  Maryland is also going to be a Top Four preseason Big Ten team and winning in Madison is never easy.  I am not sure any other team in the league has that tough a league slate relative to the first four games.

Then Iowa gets Indiana at home in game five, and the Hoosiers still have Trace Jackson-Davis.  After that, it’s off to Minnesota and Rutgers.  Those Rutgers will be without Myles Johnson (transfer) and Jacob Young, they will return Geo Baker and Ron Harper, Jr and the RAC is a tough place to play, as is the Barn in Minneapolis.

Then it’s Penn State and Purdue at home, then at Penn State and Ohio State.  The Buckeyes are probably going to be picked 2nd in the Big Ten.  Minnesota at home, at Maryland, followed by three straight home games against Nebraska, Michigan (2nd or 3rd in B1G preseason and the nation’s top recruiting class) and Michigan State.  That three-game homestand is nice and rare, but also rare are the three separate back to back true road games that Iowa drew.

Off to Nebraska, home against Northwestern and then finishing at Michigan and at Illinois.

Iowa’s single games are against Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Rutgers.

It’s a bit of a rebuilding year for Iowa and finishing .500 against that slate would be a solid achievement, in my opinion.

As for the Iowa women, who will likely be in many a preseason Top 10 poll, here is their slate:

The last five games of the season are BRU-TAL.   Maryland, Indiana and Rutgers all in a row?  Oof.  Here is how the Big Ten standings ended last season:

  1. Maryland (17-1)
  2. Indiana (16-2)
  3. Rutgers (10-3)
  4. Michigan (9-4)
  5. Northwestern (11-7)
  6. Iowa (11-8)

Iowa lost both of its games against Maryland last year (111-93 on the road and 104-84 in the Big Ten Tournament Title game) and lost both games against Indiana and Northwestern.  They did beat Rutgers twice and won their only game against Michigan.  They Hawkeyes figure to be a better squad this year, led by one of the nation’s best (if not THE best) players in Caitlin Clark.    But they also return the other four starters, a total of nine letterwinners and some key transfers. The Iowa women will once again be must-see TV this year.

 

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