We're obviously hyper-focused on the fact that college football is just 10 days away for Iowa, but did you know the college basketball season is under three months out as well? Hoopyball is rapidly returning too, friends. And now we have a full schedule for Iowa. We already knew which Big Ten teams they were playing once this year and which ones they were playing home and away. And we got the full non-conference slate last week. But here's the full schedule for league and non-league action:
|SUN 11/4/18||Guliford College (exhibition)||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 11/8/18||UMKC||Iowa City, IA|
|SUN 11/11/18||Green Bay||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 11/15/18||Oregon (2K Classic)||New York, NY|
|FRI 11/16/18||UConn or Syracuse (2K Classic)||New York, NY|
|WED 11/21/18||Alabama State||Iowa City, IA|
|TUE 11/27/18||Pittsburgh (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)||Iowa City, IA|
|FRI 11/30/18||Wisconsin||Iowa City, IA|
|MON 12/3/18||Michigan State||East Lansing, MI|
|THU 12/6/18||Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Series)||Iowa City, IA|
|SAT 12/15/18||UNI (Big 4 Classic)||Des Moines, IA|
|TUE 12/18/18||Western Carolina||Iowa City, IA|
|SAT 12/22/18||Savannah State||Iowa City, IA|
|SAT 12/29/18||Bryant||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 1/3/19||Purdue||West Lafayette, IN|
|SUN 1/6/19||Nebraska||Iowa City, IA|
|WED 1/9/19||Northwestern||Evanston, IL|
|SAT 1/12/19||Ohio State||Iowa City, IA|
|WED 1/16/19||Penn State||University Park, PA|
|SUN 1/20/19||Illinois||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 1/24/19||Michigan State||Iowa City, IA|
|SUN 1/27/19||Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN|
|FRI 2/1/19||Michigan||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 2/7/19||Indiana||Bloomington, IN|
|SUN 2/10/19||Northwestern||Iowa City, IA|
|SAT 2/16/19||Rutgers||Piscataway, NJ|
|TUE 2/19/19||Maryland||Iowa City, IA|
|FRI 2/22/19||Indiana||Iowa City, IA|
|TUE 2/26/19||Ohio State||Columbus, OH|
|SAT 3/2/19||Rutgers||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 3/7/19||Wisconsin||Madison, WI|
|SUN 3/10/19||Nebraska||Lincoln, NE|
A few thoughts:
- TV information and tip-time information will be added closer to the beginning of the season.
- Outside of Iowa's participation in the 2K Classic and the game against Iowa State, the non-conference schedule is pretty weak. Pitt is a power conference opponent in name only based on last year's results. This is a non-league slate engineered for lots of wins, so Iowa needs to deliver on that.
- Seriously: aside from the 2K Classic games and a trip to Michigan State in early December, Iowa doesn't leave the state of Iowa to play a game in November or December and their only in-state game not in the friendly confines of Carver-Hawkeye Arena is the neutral court Big 4 Classic game with UNI in Des Moines. Iowa absolutely has to use all those home games to rack up a lot of wins. Anything worse than 11-2 or 10-3 heading into the 2019 portion of the schedule would be very disappointing.
- This is the first year of 20-game Big Ten schedules.
- Last year the Big Ten played league games in early December because they needed to compress the schedule to play the Big Ten Tournament a week earlier than usual in Madison Square Garden in New York. The Big Ten Tournament is back to its normal placement on the schedule this year (March 13-17), but those early December conference games are back as well -- presumably as a result of the new 20-game league schedule. The alternative to playing them in early December would be to try and move up the start of the league season from around the beginning of January, but that would mean scheduling league games around Christmas, which probably isn't desirable. We'll just have to adjust to a world of early Big Ten games.
- Speaking of things we'll have to adjust to: Friday night Big Ten games are definitely a thing. They actually started last season, but Iowa didn't play any of them. This year they're slated for three Friday night league games: Wisconsin (11/30), Michigan (2/1/19), and Indiana (2/22/19), all in Iowa City. Remember when Iowa used to play all of their league games on Tuesday or Wednesday nights and Saturday (or occasionally Sunday) afternoons? Those days are pretty much gone now. Big Ten scheduling is an all-week affair now.
- It's not all bad news on that front, though: Iowa has a lot of weekend home games this season. They have three Saturday/Sunday tip-offs in Iowa City in non-conference action (Green Bay, Savannah State, Bryant), and five more Saturday/Sunday tips in Big Ten play (Nebraska, Ohio State, Illinois, Northwestern, and Rutgers). Coupled with the three Friday night tips, that means Iowa will have just two weeknight Big Ten games at home this year. Considering that those weeknight tips (which sometimes don't start until 8 PM local, resulting in games that don't end until 10 PM or later) have been a source of contention among Iowa fans, that's a welcome development. This schedule should be a lot friendlier and more accessible to Iowa fans outside of the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area who travel to games.
Thoughts? Hit us up in the comments.