As I mentioned in my "projections" post, the unbalanced Big Ten schedule creates winners and losers. This year the biggest loser is Iowa.
Iowa's single games are home against Nebraska and Purdue, and at Indiana and Penn State. On the face of it this might not seem so bad, since they've got a decent shot of going 3-1 in those four games. The problem is that this means they face OSU, MSU, Wisconsin, and Michigan twice each, and these are the top four teams in the conference in my model. Their only break is that they have to face Indiana (ranked fifth) just once, but that's on the road, and almost certainly a loss. They also are robbed of an easy road game at Nebraska.
As a result, my Model projects them to win just 9.3 games, which rounds to a 9-9 record and 7th place in Big Ten play. That puts them behind Purdue (which happens to have the easiest Big Ten schedule), even though the Model says Iowa is going to be a superior team. In a true round robin, the Model would have them winning 11.9 games, which rounds to 12-10, and puts them in a tie with Indiana and Purdue for fifth place. That's an extra win against par—potentially the difference between making and missing the tournament.
For what it's worth, the Badgers have the most statistically fair schedule. Compared to the true round robin, they have a projected winning percentage of just .18% higher. By contrast, Iowa's is 2.49% worse and Purdue's is 1.7% better.
As you can tell, I am very excited for college basketball season to begin.