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Look: Iowa State Basketball Unveils 2024 Nonconference Schedule

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Houston

Several Big 12 basketball teams have national championship aspirations heading into the 2024 season, and one of them—which nobody seems to be talking about—is the Iowa State Cyclones.

T.J. Otzelberger has built a defensive monster in Ames, Iowa, and the culture that’s been built there during his tenure seems to stand the test of time and even the transfer portal.

Four of the top five teams in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 are from the Big 12, and ISU is the No. 5 team on that list.

 

The Big 12 teams ahead of them are No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Houston, and No. 4 Baylor, so the conference slate, which has always been rather daunting, appears to be downright scary for anyone in the league in 2024-25.

The good news is that Iowa State has a well-balanced nonconference slate to help them prepare for the gauntlet that is to come. Jon Rothstein shared this on Twitter Wednesday, giving Cyclone fans a glimpse of what the opening stretch of 2024-25 will look like.

At first glance, this schedule looks like a breeze for a top-five team, but closer inspection shows that there is definitely potential for pitfalls and growing moments.

The first and most obvious team that stands out is Marquette, whom the Cyclones will play on December 4 in the Big 12 Big East Battle. The Golden Eagles check in at No. 14 in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25, and Shaka Smart has three of his starting five from last season coming back.

 

The other date(s) that stand out are the week before the MU matchup, November 25-27, at the Maui Invitational. While we will have to wait and see how the Invitational plays out, there are several big-time programs on the list of attendees, which include:

  • Auburn (Proj. No. 12)
  • Colorado
  • Dayton
  • Iowa State (Proj. No. 5)
  • Michigan State
  • Memphis
  • North Carolina (Proj. No. 9)
  • UConn (Proj. No. 7)

Is it a “daunting” nonconference schedule? No. But, why would any team in the Big 12 front-load their schedule with tough games knowing that they’ll already end up facing one of the tougher schedules in the country based simply on league play?

The Cyclones’ 2024 season begins on November 4, when they play host to Mississippi Valley State.

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