Hoops new again! Earlier this week (like literally two days ago), I wrote about the Big Ten Network announcing their schedule for the 2016-17 conference season. To quickly sum up, Iowa plays 13 games on the network this season during conference play. At the end of that piece, I mentioned that Iowa only had five games left during the Big Ten regular season that had yet to be picked up by a network, and I opined on whether or not those could potentially be picked up by ESPN or CBS. Well, it didn’t take long to find out the status of those fives games: all of them are scheduled to be on ESPN or ESPN2.
Here are Iowa’s games as they are scheduled on ESPN channels:
- Jan. 19, 2017: Maryland at Iowa, 6 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
- Jan. 28, 2017: Ohio State at Iowa, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
- Feb. 21, 2017: Indiana at Iowa, 8 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
- Feb. 25, 2017: Iowa at Maryland, TBA (ESPN or ESPN2)
- Mar. 2, 2017: Iowa at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
The only game that’s set in stone is the one where the Hawkeyes host Ohio State at the end of January. Otherwise, there’s still room to decide whether or not the games will be played on the main network or on the secondary channel. Likely, if Iowa is good, they’ll be on the main network for all of them, as Maryland, Indiana, and Wisconsin are all likely to be at the top of the Big Ten this season (as they almost always are these days). If Iowa struggles a bit, then yeah, they’ll probably all be on ESPN2. That’s not the end of the world, but it’d be nice to see them on the main channel with the better announcers (instead of stuck with someone like Beth Mowins, as the football team is for a second consecutive week).
The biggest note is probably that ESPN will be visiting Iowa City three times this season. I can’t find something to tell me otherwise, but I feel like this is less than they had been in Iowa last year? It would make sense, as the Hawks aren’t expected to be as good with the departures of four starting seniors, but it’s still a bummer if I’m remembering correctly.
Other games on ESPN2 include non-conference games against both Notre Dame (Nov. 29, 8 p.m.) and Iowa State (Dec. 8, 7 p.m.).