The four Iowa Division I men’s basketball teams will be together Saturday for the first annual Big Four Basketball Classis.
In the past Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa (UNI) and Drake scheduled home-and-away games with each other. This tournament will replace games on the respective campuses.
The schools agreed to a four-year arrangement with all games at the Wells Fargo arena in the Iowa capital city of Des Moines.
Apparently, Iowa and Iowa State pushed for the tournament because these schools wanted greater freedom in non-conference scheduling. Some say it was big brother (Iowa and Iowa State) telling little brother (UNI and Drake) the new conditions of the basketball arrangement. UNI and Drake apparently bemoaned the loss of revenue and exposure of playing games on their campuses. UNI and Drake will still receive revenue for the tournament but will loss the domino effect for its campuses and communities.
In this year’s matchup, Iowa will oppose UNI in the first game and Iowa State-Drake follow in the second one. One sorry aspect is the television package. There is no statewide coverage on any local station. The Iowa-UNI game will air on the Big Ten network and the Iowa State-Drake will air on a another cable company will limited Iowa coverage.
This whole tournament seems to be about the money. That’s a common and dangerous trend in college sports today. But maybe the new format will become the new normal similar to happiness with $3.50 gasoline.
What do you think about this new tournament?