So far, Hawkeyes' Big Ten slate is brutal

Another rugged 5-game stretch starts today

Mike Hlas
Published: January 22 2013 | 10:46 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 10:24 am in
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Just when you thought it was safe for the Iowa men's basketball team to come out of the water ...

The first 5-game patch of Iowa's Big Ten schedule was what you would call difficult. Four of the game were either against ranked teams - Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State or the team that had won at Indiana and was the league's outright leader, Wisconsin.

After an 0-3 start, Iowa won at Northwestern and beat Wisconsin at home. Out of the woods? Uh, no.

Today at 5:31 p.m. Central time, the Hawkeyes are at No. 11 Ohio State. They have lost seven straight games to the Buckeyes and haven't won in Columbus since 2004.

Sunday, Iowa is at Purdue. At 10-8, it isn't one of the best Boilermaker teams of the last few years. But Purdue is 3-2 in league play, has played well in its last three games, and figures to be no pushover at home. The Hawkeyes haven't won at West Lafayette since 2006. They haven't won a lot of conference road games, period, since 2006.

Then, in a genuine breather, Iowa hosts the worst team in the conference, Penn State.

Before going on the road for two more games, against ninth-ranked Minnesota and Wisconsin.

What's your best-case scenario for the 5-game stretch that begins today? OK, five wins. Let me re-ask that. What's your best realistic 5-game scenario?

If it's any consolation, the final eight games don't compare in toughness to these first two five-game stretches. There's a home game against Minnesota and a trip to Indiana, but the other six contests are against unranked teams, and five of the eight games will be at home.

 

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