When last we saw the 2011-2012 Iowa basketball team, they were being mercilessly dismembered by Jared Sullinger and his band of merry Buckeye men. That wasn't so much fun. Tonight they head back on the road (where they're 2-0 in B1G play) to take on their second straight #7 ranked team, Michigan State. A year ago, Fran claimed the first big win of his Hawkeye tenure with a 72-52 win over Sparty in CHA. Granted, that was a reeling Spartan squad, but it was still a fine win. MSU paid Iowa back in full with an 85-66 drubbing later in the season and then won the rubber match, 66-61, in the Big Ten Tournament.
This year, things have been going a bit better for our Spartan friends. After opening up 0-2 against one of the toughest 1-2 punches in the sport (a neutral site game with North Carolina and a road game at Duke), MSU has rattled off 14 straight wins, including a road win over crumbling Wisconsin (one of many Badger defeats this B1G season) and a home win over Indiana (the Hoosiers' lone blemish this season). So they are good. Maybe not quite as good as OSU, but certainly good enough to make this game very ugly if Iowa plays as poorly as they did on Saturday. And that's without mentioning that the game is at the Breslin Center, a place Iowa hasn't won in their last sixteen tries. (Last Iowa win? A 96-90 OT win in 1993.) The easy (or easier, anyway) portion of Iowa's B1G schedule is coming, but for right now we're still in the killing fields; hopefully Iowa has a little more road magic in them.
The game is on BTN at 6pm CT. The standard open thread rules appy: no links to illegal online streams, no porn, no religion, no politics, no slurs, no douchebaggery.