We noted this in the recap of Iowa's blowout win over Northwestern yesterday, but just in case you missed that: Iowa men's basketball's game against Nebraska (originally scheduled for Sunday, January 24) has been postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Nebraska program.
12 individuals in the Nebraska basketball program, including seven players and Fred Hoiberg, have tested positive for COVID-19.— Brendan Quinn (@BFQuinn) January 17, 2021
Upcoming games against Minnesota (Jan. 20) and Iowa (Jan. 24) are postponed.
Nebraska plays Michigan State on Feb 3. pic.twitter.com/6CFnGE5tHc
Seven players is almost half the roster, not to mention several staffers and Hoiberg. Nebraska clearly has a lot of COVID problems right now. We wish them all a complete and speedy recovery to full health.
Iowa's next scheduled game is at home against Indiana on Thursday, January 21 (8 PM CT, FS1). Their next scheduled game after that is a big one -- their one and only meeting with Illinois, in Champaign on Friday, January 29 (8 PM CT, FS1). Barring any further interruptions or schedule changes, it certainly seems like they should be well-rested for that game.
The Big Ten plans to play all the games that have currently been postponed due to COVID -- but maybe saying that the Big Ten hopes to play all the games that have currently been postponed due to COVID would be more accurate. Because the number of postponed games continues to tick up (and is likely to continue to do so for the remainder of the regular season) and there's a pretty hard deadline to when the regular season must end, assuming the Big Ten still wants to do a conference tournament (which they do, for certain rea$on$) and that the NCAA won't push back the NCAA Tournament (which it seems unwilling to do, for the time being). There are only so many days left in January and February to try and squeeze in additional games.
One option might be for the Big Ten to move around currently scheduled games to keep unexpectedly idle teams busy and to free up more make-up dates later on. Over at The Des Moines Register, Chad Leistikow suggested rescheduling the postponed Iowa-Michigan State game for this coming weekend (assuming Michigan State is able to return to normal basketball activities within the next day or two). That would require rearranging certain aspects of MSU's schedule, but it doesn't appear impossible. If the Big Ten wants to get in as many games as possible (all 14 teams playing a full 20-game conference schedule seems like more and more of a pipe dream with each passing day and new positive COVID test), they're going to need to get creative with scheduling. We'll see what the Delanybot 9000 can come up with.