The Super Bowl will keep Iowa sportsbooks busy this weekend.
But, don’t forget about college basketball as an opening act.
The state’s weekend schedule features six games over the two days of Super Bowl weekend, starting with Saturday’s Iowa State game at No. 9 Oklahoma. The 11 a.m. game is on ESPN2.
Iowa St. vs. Oklahoma odds
It’s been a tough season for the 2-10 Cyclones, but they did press No. 17 West Virginia in their last outing. Solomon Young scored 15 points after missing the previous two games due to health and safety protocols. The Mountaineers needed late free throws to seal a 76-72 win Tuesday. Coach Steve Prohm liked the direction of the team:
“We got some guys back and I thought we had great effort (Tuesday night). Really, we were kind of going: ‘February on, lets play the right way.’ Though we lost, I thought that was a whole different basketball team out there.”
Iowa State’s only wins on the season both came at Hilton Coliseum. They beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 80-63 in the Nov. 29 season opener. Iowa State’s second win came on Dec. 20, when the Cyclones beat Jackson State 60-45.
The team hopes to end its six-game skid as it heads on the road against a top 10 team.
Another team in Iowa is streaking in a different direction. No. 25 Drake is +650 to reach the Final Four.
Drake vs. Valparaiso odds
The Bulldogs travel to Indiana for games Saturday and Sunday at Valparaiso (6-11, 3-5). The 1 p.m. game Saturday will be streamed on ESPN3. Sunday’s 1 p.m. game will be carried on ESPN+.
The road trip will be a homecoming for five Bulldogs who hail from the region along Lake Michigan near Chicago.
“It’s a nice recognition for our guys and the work they’ve put in and how they’ve represented the school. I’m happy for them and what they’ve done to this point.”
The Crusaders are coming off back-to-back losses Sunday (70-52) and Monday (58-51) to Evansville.
The Bulldogs aren’t the only team from Iowa with a trip to Indiana on the books. No. 8 Iowa travels to Indiana on Super Bowl Sunday.
Iowa vs. Indiana odds
The Hawkeyes hope to put a streak of three losses in four games behind them as they head to Bloomington. The 11 a.m. game will be carried on Fox. Iowa faded near the end of an 89-85 home loss to No. 7 Ohio State on Thursday. Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey said:
“We did some good things, we played a good team, but we have to do better in crunch time.”
Ohio State came back from an 11-point deficit to pick up the road win. Senior Jordan Bohannon and redshirt sophomore Jack Nunge led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 18 points each.
Iowa is +600 to win the Big Ten and +350 to make the Final Four, according to DraftKings.
The Hawkeyes are in a safe position for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament if they need it, but a neighbor to the north will need a conference tournament run to reach the big dance. UNI is +5000 to reach the Final Four.
Indiana St. vs. UNI odds
ESPNU will carry the first game of a weekend set as Northern Iowa hosts Indiana State on Saturday and Sunday. The Panthers are trying to finish sixth or higher in the regular season standings to avoid a March 4 play-in game at Arch Madness.
Game 1 vs. Indiana State is 5 p.m. Saturday. Game 2 is 3 p.m. Sunday.
UNI (5-11, 3-7) is tied for seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference. They split a pair of games at Southern Illinois last weekend, with a 74-62 win Saturday and a 71-68 loss Sunday.
The Sycamores (10-7, 7-5) bring a six-game winning streak to Cedar Falls.