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Big Ten Announces Iowa Basketball’s 2018-19 Conference Opponents

The Hawks avoid having to play some of next year’s front runners twice.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Iowa vs Illinois Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten is moving to a 20-game conference schedule for the first time in 2018-19, and on Thursday afternoon they announced what Iowa’s conference slate will look like this upcoming season.

This isn’t the best graphic, so let’s simplify it a bit more so it’s easier to see who Iowa draws twice, gets once at home, and gets once on the road.

Home & Home

  • Indiana
  • Michigan State
  • Nebraska
  • Northwestern
  • Ohio State
  • Rutgers
  • Wisconsin

It’ll be interesting to see how some of these teams look next season. Michigan State is losing two of their stars to the NBA Draft in Jaren Jackson, Jr. and Miles Bridges, Ohio State is losing Keita Bates-Diop, Indiana’s Robert Johnson is graduating, and more. Some of these teams (see: OSU, MSU) should be good despite these losses, while other teams that had a lackluster 2017-18 (UW, IU, jNW) could be primed to have rebound campaigns.

It’s probably for the best that Iowa dodges having to play Michigan, Maryland, and Purdue multiple times next year though, especially since we’re still not sure what the roster will look like come the fall.

Home Only

  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Michigan

Pretty good draw here for the Hawks, as they’ll avoid trips to College Park and Ann Arbor. Both teams figure to be solid in 2018-19, as they are most seasons, with Michigan probably expected to finish at the top of the conference. You’d like to see Illinois twice, as they were bad last year and lose a lot of their talent this year, but it is what it is.

Away Only

  • Minnesota
  • Penn State
  • Purdue

You hate to see a trip to Mackey Arena to face Purdue. Hate it. They’re probably not going to be at the same level that they were last year, but Matt Painter has that team as a perenial contender in the Big Ten and so you can expect them to make life hard on the Hawks, especially in front of what’s always a raucous crowd in West Lafayette. They’ll also make a trip to the Barn, which hasn’t been an easy trip for them as of late either.

What do you think of how their schedule looks to shape up next season?