Are you pining for things to watch to while away the long, lonely days of quarantine? Of course you are. Fortunately, BTN is looking out for you with a 24-hour block of Iowa programming, starting at 5 AM Central tomorrow morning (Wednesday, May 6). BTN does a lot of school-specific days of programming (as they should -- it's a great use of the network, especially during months without new sports), but this collection is particularly interesting.
There's a mix of sports here, with representation from obvious options like football and men's basketball, as well as some picks from less-obvious sports like baseball and field hockey. Wrestling and women's basketball also get some love. (Wrestling actually gets quite a bit of love -- 8 hours worth! -- though that checks out when you're talking about Iowa.)
The programming rundown (all times CT):
5:00 AM: BASEBALL: 2017 Big Ten Tournament Championship Game: Iowa vs Northwestern
Iowa made the Big Ten Tourney championship game in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017. This game had the happier outcome by far.
8:00 AM: WRESTLING: 2020 Big Ten Tournament Finals
This is the most recent event in the marathon (it was barely two months ago, albeit in the long-ago days of "crowds" and "actual live sports") and has been replayed a few times, but it's still a fun watch. Iowa capped off a dominant performance (and, as it happened, a dominant overall season) with four wrestlers in the finals. Anytime you get to see Spencer Lee do his thing is a treat and this was also the final installment in the epic Alex Marinelli-Vincenzo Joseph rivalry that produced multiple classic matches.
11:00 AM: FOOTBALL: 2010 Insight Bowl -- Iowa vs #12 Missouri
This game was the end of an era, the final game at Iowa for Ricky Stanzi, Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard, Broderick Binns, and a slew of others. It was also featured the surprise emergence of Marcus Coker, some thrilling back-and-forth action, and big play heroics from Micah Hyde.
12:00 PM: FOOTBALL: 2010 -- #18 Iowa vs #5 Michigan State
Speaking of big play heroics from Micah Hyde... this is the game with the instantly iconic Sash-to-Hyde lateral play. It's also another game that added to the legend of Kinnick Stadium. A top 5 team brings an undefeated record into Iowa City late in the season? Dunh dunh dunh... The 2010 season was, at best, bittersweet, but this was the absolute pinnacle of the year and one of Iowa's best overall performances of the KF Era.
1:00 PM: FOOTBALL: 2019 Outback Bowl -- Iowa vs #18 Mississippi State
Iowa returned to its home away from home -- Tampa, FL -- to fight for the honor of #TeamCoconutShrimp in a game against the big, bad SEC -- and one of the biggest, baddest defenses in the country, too. This game wasn't always pretty, but its highs were real high.
2:00 PM: BASKETBALL: 2015 -- #25 Iowa at Marquette
If memory serves, this was supposed to be a pretty highly-regarded Marquette team and a big early season test. Iowa, uh, passed that test. That 2015-16 Iowa team with senior-year Adam Woodbury, Mike Gesell, Anthony Clemmons, and Jarrod Uthoff (plus a junior-year Peter Jok) was so damn good at its best. And this game was definitely them at their best.
3:00 PM: BASKETBALL: 2020 -- #12 Maryland at #25 Iowa
Iowa entered this game on a two-game losing streak (including a bitterly disappointing loss to a very bad Nebrasketball team) and without CJ Fredrick. Good thing they had Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp. This game was one of the peaks of the just-concluded 2019-20 season.
4:00 PM: BASKETBALL: 2020 -- #19 Illinois at #18 Iowa
This rivalry has been a pale shadow of its former glory for years (if not decades), but it came roaring back this season -- and this game was a big reason why. Luka Garza balled out (because of course he did), but Iowa also got great games from Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick, too.
5:00 PM: WRESTLING: 2020 -- #1 Iowa vs #2 Penn State
This was one of the most-hyped and most-anticipated wrestling duals in several years and, improbably, it managed to live up to the hype. An early injury default by Austin DeSanto put Iowa in an early hole, but that ended up just setting the stage for an incredibly dramatic finish. The Joseph-Marinelli and Hall-Kemerer matches were about as good as it gets for college wrestling matches and the atmosphere for this dual was unparalleled.
7:00 PM: FOOTBALL: 1985: #1 Iowa vs #2 Michigan
If you somehow haven't seen this game, you should absolutely rectify that now. It's one of the greatest games in Iowa history, as well as one of the most iconic. Your Hawkeye fandom experience will be fuller for watching this game. And if you have seen this game (which is probably a lot of us), well, why wouldn't you watch it again? It's one of the greatest games in Iowa history and one of the most iconic!
8:00 PM: BIG TEN ELITE: 1985 Iowa Football
And if you want to know more about arguably the greatest Iowa football team ever, this hour-long special is a great watch to find out more about them.
9:00 PM: FOOTBALL: 2019 Holiday Bowl -- Iowa vs USC
A decade after Ricky Stanzi capped off his Iowa career with a third-straight bowl victory, Nate Stanley managed to do the same thing. He even managed to do it out west, too. This game doesn't have the back-and-forth drama or late heroics of the 2010 Insight Bowl, but it does have one of the most complete performances of the year for Iowa, as well as a satisfying beatdown of a college football blueblood.
10:00 PM: The B1G Story: Alex & Eli
BTN has aired this special a lot since its debut last December, but for good reason -- it's exceptionally well-done. It's a moving portrait of Alex Marinelli's friendship with the late Eli Stickley, a Wisconsin wrestler and the brother of Alex's wife, Moriah.
11:00 PM: WRESTLING: 2020 -- #1 Iowa vs #4 Ohio State
Honestly, this is a bit of an odd choice. It was a Top 5 showdown, but this didn't have near the drama or the atmosphere of the Iowa-Penn State throwdown. It would have been fun to see BTN dig in their vault and find an older dual to spotlight here, frankly. Still, it's another chance to see Spencer Lee, Austin DeSanto, Alex Marinelli, Michael Kemerer, et al. do their thing, which is never a bad thing.
1:00 AM: WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: 2019 Big Ten Tournament Semifinal: #10 Iowa vs Rutgers
Another slightly peculiar choice, honestly. This was a good win and it featured a fairly dramatic ending, but it would be more fun to see Iowa's subsequent Big Ten Tournament game -- the championship game win over Maryland -- rather than this one, I think. Still, it is an opportunity to see Megan Gustafson at work and seeing the GOAT of Iowa basketball is always fun.
3:00 AM: FIELD HOCKEY: 2019 Big Ten Tournament Championship: Iowa vs Penn State
Field hockey! It's nice to see BTN digging in their vault to spotlight some of the lesser-seen sports. Iowa had a resurgent year in field hockey this past fall and the capper was this Big Ten Tourney triumph.
So, yeah, sit back, settle in, and watch a full day's worth of excellent Iowa sports action.