Iowa's 2022-23 MBB Schedule is No Joke

By RossWB on June 17, 2022 at 5:23 pm
go hawks go
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The full, official 2022-23 schedule for Iowa men's basketball, with dates and tipoff times and TV partners and all that jazz, won't be finalized for a few more months. But we already have a pretty good sense of most of the teams Iowa's going to be playing next season. And based on what we know, that schedule should give Iowa plenty of challenges -- or opportunities to build a postseason resume, if you're looking at things from a more positive perspective. 

Let's start with the non-conference portion of things: 

11/7 Bethune-Cookman Iowa City, IA
mid-Nov Big East team TBA (Gavitt Tipoff Games) TBA (road)
11/21 Omaha (Emerald Coast Classic First Round) Iowa City, IA
11/25 Clemson (Emerald Coast Classic) Destin, FL
11/26 Cal/TCU (Emerald Coast Classic) Destin, FL
early Dec ACC team TBA (ACC-Big Ten Challenge) TBA (home?)
12/6 Duke (Jimmy V Classic) New York, NY
12/8 Iowa State Iowa City, IA

There will be a few more non-conference games to be added, likely in November or late December and likely home games against weaker opponents. But that's OK because the rest of Iowa's non-conference slate should offer some real challenges. The 800-lb gorilla of Iowa's schedule here is, of course, the Duke game at Madison Square Garden and that will be a monster of a game with Iowa's veteran-laden team taking on a likely Top-5 Duke team loaded with superstar freshmen. 

Duke will be one of three Iowa games Iowa has against ACC opponents in non-conference action this year. There's also a game against Clemson in the Emerald Coast Classic over Thanksgiving weekend and a yet-to-be-announced opponent in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Iowa was at Virginia in the Challenge last season, so they ought to get a home game this year. Miami, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech were some of the teams that finished around the same place in the ACC standings as Iowa did in the Big Ten standings last year. 

Speaking of yet-to-be-announced major conference opponents -- Iowa also has an opponent TBA from the Big East as they're slated to take part in the Gavitt Tipoff Games for the first time since 2019. Plenty of Big East teams seem like they could be on the table as prospective opponents there. 

Iowa will also get another major conference opponent in their second game of the Emerald Coast Classic -- either Cal or TCU. If Iowa beats Clemson, they'll play the winner of Cal-TCU; if they lose to the Tigers, they'll face the loser of Cal-TCU. And, finally, there's the annual early December showdown with Iowa State to wrap up the major conference portion of Iowa's non-conference slate. The Cyclones ended a three-game losing streak against Iowa with a 20-point win in Ames last year, so revenge should certainly be on the minds of Kris Murray, Patrick McCaffery, Tony Perkins, & Co. 

And we also know the frequency of Iowa's Big Ten opponents -- i.e., who they're playing twice and who they're playing just once (and where those games are). 

Plenty of challenges there, too. Indiana underachived for much of last season, but their run in the Big Ten Tournament gave a glimpse of what they can do when they put it together and they're bringing back basically everyone of consequence from last year's team and figure to be one of the Big Ten favorites next year, so playing them twice will be a grind. Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin are among the Big Ten's best, year in and year out, so playing them home and away next year should also be a grind. On the other hand, double-plays against Nebraska, Northwester, and a possibly-rebuilding Rutgers team might offer some win-banking opportunities. 

Playing Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan next year might be a plus, and getting those games at home is also a nice touch. (The fewer trips to the State Farm Center, the better.) But those road single-plays... at Minnesota isn't so bad (they're going to have an entirely different team to the one Iowa saw in 2021-22, which could be a positive or a negative), but at Penn State and at Purdue look worrisome. The Purdue road game is concerning because the Boilermakers should (again) be very good and because they have a tendency to blitz Iowa in West Lafayette. The Penn State road game, on the other hand, is concerning because Iowa always seems to sleepwalk through that game and play like shit. 

We should find out the rest of the non-conference slate (expect more MEAC-level foes than major conference-level foes), as well as final details in terms of dates, tipoff times, and TV info by the end of the summer. We'll update the schedule when more information becomes available. But in the meantime, from what we know, Iowa better be ready to go from the jump next season, because there could be a lot of Ls lurking in November and December if they get off to a slow start. 

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