At first blush Iowa’s upcoming men’s basketball non-conference schedule looks a bit like last year’s version. You know, the one that pretty much prevented the Hawkeyes from earning an NCAA tournament spot.
But there are a few differences, and the most important one is the ACC-Big Ten Challenge opponent. Iowa plays Notre Dame (25-10), which qualified for the NCAA tournament last year and boasted a nice RPI of 35. Last year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge opponent, Virginia Tech (13-19), finished with an RPI of 176. Iowa’s 16-point loss was a major reason why the Hawkeyes played in the NIT.
Iowa right now has 10 guaranteed opponents in non-conference play. The team is looking for one more home game on Nov. 17, 18 or 19, and will play either Tennessee or UTEP in a Battle 4 Atlantis semifinal. The Hawkeyes will face an undetermined opponent in the Hawkeyes’ third game in the Bahamas. Of the 10 opponents [and splitting the RPI difference between Tennessee (59) and UTEP (96)], Iowa’s non-conference RPI is 191. Last year it was 216. If Iowa plays either Kansas or Villanova as its final Bahamas opponent, the RPI will look better. The other home game could make it look worse.
Iowa has five non-conference opponents with an RPI of 279 or worse. The opener is against UNC-Wilmington (302), followed by Nebraska-Omaha (285) and Maryland-Eastern Shore (345). Yes, that’s right, 345. Maryland-Eastern Shore was 2-26 and posted the third-worst RPI nationally. The others include Penn (279) and Farleigh Dickinson (299).
But non-conference RPI will not have the impact this year as it did last year. In Big Ten action, Iowa plays 13 games against NCAA opponents. The only 2012-13 NCAA qualifier the Hawkeyes play once is Indiana, and that game is at Bloomington on Super Tuesday.
Here are some scheduling notes:
– Iowa opens at home on New Year’s Eve for the second straight season. Unlike last year, the game is held at 6 p.m. and is against Nebraska, not Indiana. Will the fans show up like last year? It’s also the only meeting between the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes, which is unfortunate.
– Jarrod Uthoff’s return to Wisconsin is Iowa’s second Big Ten game. The atmosphere likely will be more cordial on Jan. 5, if only because Wisconsin’s classes start 16 days later. But there won’t be many golf claps for Uthoff, either.
– On Sunday, Jan. 12, Iowa plays at Ohio State, the Hawkeyes’ first CBS game since Jan. 28, 2007 against Wisconsin. Iowa’s last win on CBS was its victory against Ohio State in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes have won a series record eight straight against Iowa and now hold the all-time series lead 76-75. The start time (noon or 3 p.m.) depends on the NFL playoff schedule.
– Iowa plays three times on ESPN’s “Super Tuesday,” two of which at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The first is against Michigan State at 6 p.m. Jan. 28. The second is against Ohio State at 6 p.m. Feb. 4. The finale is at Indiana on Feb. 18.
– Iowa will have Sunday games the first three weeks — two of which on the road — but then play on five straight Saturdays. The final two weekend games — both at home — will be determined. Iowa’s Feb. 8 game against Michigan and Feb. 22 game against Wisconsin are both slated for 11 a.m. Either ESPN or ESPN2 will televise those games.
– Unlike last year, Iowa does not have a stretch of four road games in a five-game stretch. Those four road games (Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin) all resulted in excruciating losses for last year.
– ESPN or ESPN2 will air Iowa’s road finale at Michigan State at 8 p.m. March 6. It’s a marquee television window usually reserved for league contenders. Iowa has lost 17 straight at East Lansing dating to 1993.
– Games against historic rival Illinois are scheduled for Feb. 1 (Champaign) and the home finale on either March 8 or 9. Iowa is 1-22 at the former Assembly Hall (now State Farm Center) since 1987. The Hawkeyes’ only win was in 1999, when Illinois finished last in the Big Ten.
– Iowa’s other single plays include Purdue (March 1/2 at home) and at Penn State (Feb. 15).
Oct. 25 — Black and Gold Blowout, TBA
Nov. 3 — vs. Augustana (exhibition), 3/3:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 — UNC-Wilmington (10-20, RPI 302), 8:30 p.m. (TV TBA)
Nov. 10 — Nebraska-Omaha (11-20, 285), 3:30 p.m. (TBA)
Nov. 14 — Maryland-Eastern Shore (2-26, 345), 6 p.m. (TBA)
Nov. 17/18/19 — TBA (one game)
Nov. 22 — Penn (9-22, 279), 6 pm. (TBA)
Nov. 28 — vs. Xavier (17-14, 87) at Bahamas, 6 p.m. (NBCSN)
Nov. 29 — vs. Tennessee (20-13, 59)/UTEP (18-14, 96) at Bahamas, TBA (TBA)
Nov. 30 — vs. TBA at Bahamas (TBA)
Dec. 3 — Notre Dame (25-10, 35), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
Dec. 7 — vs. Drake (15-17, 144) at Des Moines, TBA (TBA)
Dec. 9 — Farleigh Dickinson (7-24, 299), 6 p.m. (TBA)
Dec. 13 — at Iowa State (23-12, 45), 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Dec. 22 — Arkansas-Pine Bluff (16-14, 202), 1 p.m. (TBA)
Dec. 31 — Nebraska, 6 p.m. (TBA)
Jan. 5 — at Wisconsin, 6:30 p.m. (TBA)
Jan. 9 — Northwestern, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Jan. 12 — at Ohio State, noon or 3 p.m. (CBS)
Jan. 19 — vs. Minnesota, noon (TBA)
Jan. 22 — at Michigan, 6 p.m. (TBA)
Jan. 25 — at Northwestern, 11 a.m. (TBA)
Jan. 28 — vs. Michigan State, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Feb. 1 — at Illinois, 6:30 p.m. (TBA)
Feb. 4 — vs. Ohio State, 6 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Feb. 8 — vs. Michigan, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
Feb. 15 — at Penn State, noon (ESPNU)
Feb. 18 — at Indiana, 8 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Feb. 22 — vs. Wisconsin, 11 a.m. (ESPN/2)
Feb. 25 — at Minnesota, 6 p.m. (TBA)
March 1/2 — vs. Purdue, TBA (TBA)
March 8/9 — vs. Illinois, TBA (TBA)
March 13-16 — Big Ten Tournament, Indianapolis (TBA)
- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/08/28/iowas-big-ten-schedule/#sthash.NXcfmetw.dpuf
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