Ever since there’s been a Big Ten Network, Iowa men’s basketball has primarily been a BTN team.
With no knock on the BTN, that isn’t a good thing. You want to be an ESPN team, a team that plays in big games in front of bigger audiences. It’s the human condition, the quest to be more than you are at the moment. If there were a sports network bigger than ESPN that routinely showed college basketball games on weeknights, you’d want to be on that network.
Well, Iowa is going all ESPN in a big way. The Hawkeyes will be on ESPN (not ESPNU) three Tuesdays in a four-week period next season against marquee opponents. Not bad for a program that hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2007.
Jan. 28: Michigan State at Iowa, 6 p.m. (CT)
Feb. 4: Ohio State at Iowa, 6 p.m. (CT)
Feb. 18: Iowa at Indiana, 8 p.m. (CT)
ESPN calls it Super Tuesday, an SEC/Big Ten doubleheader. Indiana is on Super Tuesday four times. Iowa is tied with Ohio State and Michigan State with three appearances.
Michigan and Wisconsin? Just two. No other Big Ten team is part of the package. That means you, Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue. And Nebraska, Northwestern and Penn State.
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