IOWA CITY — Big Ten newcomer Nebraska was dealt a strange scheduling hand by Big Ten officials, and men’s basketball coach Tim Miles wasn’t sure exactly what to say about it.
Last night’s game — the Big Ten opener for both Iowa and Nebraska — was the only time the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes were scheduled to meet this year. The teams had played twice in each of the last two seasons, and Miles hoped to build a rivalry with Iowa. But unless the teams meet in the Big Ten Tournament, they won’t play again until next year. That’s a tough predicament for a program building familiarity in its new neighborhood.
“Can you get fined or do you just get a reprimand for saying stuff?” Miles said when asked if it was strange Nebraska played Iowa just once. “We play Wisconsin the last game of the year is all. We play Minnesota once at our place. We play these guys (Iowa) once. I don’t know.”
In five meetings since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes hold a 3-2 edge. But the Cornhuskers dealt Iowa a tough blow last year by rallying from 19 points down to help end the Hawkeyes’ NCAA tournament hopes.
With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the league will revamp the schedule next year so it’s possible Iowa and Nebraska could meet twice. That’s what Miles wants, anyway.
“I would love to play our border teams twice each year,” Miles said. “I told the guys before this is our only crack at these guys. Let’s make it right. And we gave it a run.”