It’s now been nearly two weeks since Iowa’s matchup against Michigan State was postponed. Since that time, the Hawkeyes have had a matchup with Nebraska also postponed and the Big Ten has watched the University of Michigan put their entire athletic department on a 14-day pause, including the conference-leading men’s basketball team.
On Tuesday night, Iowa finally got some news about games being rescheduled rather than postponed as the conference has started piecing together new dates for the games pushed for Michigan State. For Iowa, that means a new home date against the Spartans coming up next week.
As noted in our deep dive on the implications of the Michigan pause earlier this week, several teams are going to be looking at quick turnarounds through the end of the year. With the addition of the MSU game next Tuesday, Iowa will now be among them.
The Hawkeyes are currently set to travel to Illinois for an 8pm CT tip against the #19 Illini this Friday. They will now be returning home to take on Michigan State the following Tuesday before they play host to #13 Ohio State on Thursday evening. They will then get two days of rest before hitting the road to seek revenge against the Indiana Hoosiers next Sunday.
In short, with the addition of the matchup against Michigan State, Iowa will be playing 4 games in 9 days.
That’s less than ideal, but in the grand scheme of what the team will be facing come Big Ten Tournament and eventually NCAA Tournament time, it’s very doable. Moreover, it’s a relative cake walk when compared to what Michigan State is facing during this period.
The Spartans are set to return to action this Thursday evening as they travel to Rutgers. Three days later, they’ll be on the road again at #13 Ohio State for a Sunday matchup. Then it’s at #7 Iowa the following Tuesday before heading back home to face off with Nebraska the very next day. The Cornhuskers, for their part, will be facing MSU in their first game back since going on pause themselves.
Michigan State will be playing 4 games in a span of 6 days. That should be an indication of what may lie ahead for the Michigan Wolverines, who will face a similar task of rescheduling four postponed games. But Michigan will have a shorter window in which to find openings given the backstops presented by the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.
Put simply, despite the near term inconvenience of the postponed MSU game, the Hawkeyes could become a net beneficiary of all the COVID-19 related scheduling issues as Michigan is set to have a very busy second half of February before closing out the year with Iowa and Michigan State in March.