We pop the cork on men’s basketball coverage at Clones Confidential. A full preview will be coming next week, but first we’ll look ahead at the upcoming schedule overall.
Preseason: The only exhibition match is against Minnesota State on Sunday, November 4th. Back in the Big 12 Media Day, the conference preseason poll picked Iowa State just to finish in eighth place among the coaches. Kansas was the unanimous pick, obviously Bill Self picked Baylor to finish at the top.
Obviously, Cyclones fans believe that this team is a lot better than the coaches indicate, and the team has done it before. When they were picked to finish sixth back in 1999, that began a two-year run of winning the Big 12 for Iowa State.
Non-conference season: If you don’t sign up to watch games over at Cyclones.tv, you won’t be watching many ISU basketball games in 2012. Only the second half of the Cyclones’ fall tournament (Global Sports Classic at Las Vegas, Nevada) will be on CBS Sports Network, the Iowa game will be on Big Ten Network, and the Drake game will be on a network to be announced later (likely WOI).
Other than that, every single non-conference game will be shown on Cyclones.tv and will take place at Hilton Coliseum. The only road game outside of Iowa will be against Missouri-Kansas City, and the only way fans will be able to follow the game without going to Kansas City will be on the Cyclones Radio Network.
In all honesty, the non-conference schedule is a complete disaster. Having BYU on the schedule is cool, and Yale is interesting right before conference play, but outside of the Las Vegas games and in-state rivalries, there’s nothing here that would excite the casual fan, or even the die-hards. Unless you need to get your basketball fix visually, listening to the radio call for most of these games is good enough.
Conference season: The schedule sets up very well for the Cyclones. Anytime there is only one day of rest (when Big 12 schools have to play on Saturday and the following Monday), Iowa State will be at home in both of those games. The only back-to-back road games that will be a challenge are at Kansas State and at Texas in the middle of February. It happens one other time, but against Texas Tech and TCU earlier in the year.
Get to know the ESPNU announcers – six conference games will be on the network. This includes the Kansas game at Lawrence, which is very rare to see the Iowa State/Kansas rivalry on a network other than ESPN. Eight other games will be on regional distribution via the Big 12 Network – the six Saturday games will all be at 12:45 p.m. CT and the two mid-week games on Wednesday are at 7:00 p.m. CT.
There will be two appearances on ESPN2, a Big Monday meeting hosting Kansas on ESPN, and the game against Kansas State in Manhattan will be on either ESPN or ESPN2.
Read the full schedule here.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.