With college football officially in the rearview mirror, Iowa Hawkeye fans can fully devote their collegiate attention to basketball for the next several months. While that obviously means tuning in to all of Iowa’s games, it also means being aware of other games going on around the country. This is, after all, an Iowa team with its sights set on winning not just a Big Ten Championship, but also a National Championship.
So, each week until Selection Sunday, we’ll be highlighting games to watch every weekend with a tie in to our Hawkeye rooting interests.
Here’s what to watch in week 7 of the college basketball season.
Once again this week, Friday night is a little light on college hoops. There’s only one game featuring a top-25 team as the other two previously scheduled have been postponed. For those of you counting at home, #3 Villanova has now had a grand total of 9 games “postponed” so far this season and haven’t played a game since before Christmas. That’s one way to avoid losses, I suppose.
The remaining game with a ranked team involved #9 Wisconsin at Rutgers. That’s an 8pm CT tip on FS1. It’s probably worth getting on the Rutgers bandwagon for this one. Wisconsin is just a game behind Iowa in the Big Ten standings while Rutgers is 2.5 back and Iowa holds the head-to-head advantage there already. Beyond that, keeping Rutgers as high as possible in the NET rankings is a good thing for Iowa’s resume.
Saturday is a big day for hoops as usual. The biggest game for Hawkeye fans on Saturday is #7 Michigan at #23 Minnesota. As noted in our weekly bracketology breakdown, Iowa could use a Minnesota win for a couple different reasons, most notably that Michigan is atop the conference standings.
Catch that one at 1pm CT on ESPN2.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, #14 Illinois is hosting #21 Ohio State at 11am. That’s on FOX. It goes without saying we’re rooting for Illinois to lose every game ever.
In the Big 12, #2 Baylor is at #15 Texas Tech at 3pm on ESPN. Tech already helped the Hawkeyes out by taking down #4 Texas earlier this week. Can they do it again on Saturday? You’ve also got Iowa State at #6 Kansas at 1pm on ESPN+. The Cyclones stand little chance here, but more losses for teams sitting on the 2 line with Iowa would be nice.
Other games worth watching on Saturday (team to root for bolded):
- #8 Creighton at Butler - 1pm on FS1
- Vanderbilt at #10 Tennessee - 5pm on SECN
- #18 Virginia at #12 Clemson - 5pm on ESPN
- Kansas State at #4 Texas - 7pm on LHN
- #16 Louisville at Miami - 7pm on ACCN
- #1 Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s - 9pm on ESPN3
Beyond Iowa game, the Big Ten only has one other matchup on Sunday after Indiana-Michigan State was postponed. That features Penn State at Purdue in what will be only the 8th game of the year for the Nittany lions. Hawkeye fans should be on Purdue here as the Boilermakers are inching closer to a Q1 win on Iowa’s resume.
Outside the conference, there are two other games featuring a ranked team on Sunday. The first features UCF at #11 Houston. That’s a 1pm tip on ESPNU and Iowa fans should be on UCF out of an abundance of caution as Houston is a potential 2 seed as the season progresses.
The other Sunday game features #20 Virginia Tech at Wake Forest. While neither of those teams is going to push Iowa for seeding or directly impact their resume, it’s worth noting former Hawkeyes Cordell Pemsl is now at Va Tech. Pemsl has missed significant time this season due to knee surgery and lingering back issues, but may be available this weekend.
And that’s it for this weekend, we’ll check back in every week through Selection Sunday.