Oh joy of joys! The only day better than the day the basketball schedule is released, is the actual start of the basketball season. The announcement came this morning that the Big Ten would be releasing the basketball schedule, and then @illinihoops decided to take it one step further by letting us know that the FULL Illini schedule would be coming out at 1pm today.
It’s 1:26, and I have already printed out a few copies of the schedule, and danced around the office informing people who couldn’t care less who the Illini will be facing this year. I work in a cube-less office, so my circled and highlighted printed out is now attached to the back of my c0-worker’s monitor.
First things first, it’s WEIRD to see the STATE FARM CENTER listed instead of Assembly Hall as the home court. I will NEVER get used to this. Ever. Other than that, I like what I see.
Can’t say non-conference is going to be too rough, but we’re going to be young and inexperienced, so that’s not a bad thing. We’ll need confidence, rather than marquee wins. Let’s save the rough schedule for next year. And, being in the Big Ten will always help when it comes to grabbing good wins.
Non-conference schedule will be: Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Valpo, Bradley, Chicago State, UNLV (first test), IPFW, at Georgia Tech (eh, we’ll see), vs Auburn in Atlanta, Dartmouth, vs Oregon in Portland (could be good), Missouri Braggin Rights and UIC at the United Center.
The season officially starts on Nov. 8 vs. Alabama State, with conference play starting on Dec. 31 at the State Farm Center vs. Indiana. Looks like we’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in Champaign!
As for who we’ll see in the Big Ten, we don’t have to go to Michigan or Purdue, and Northwestern and Minnesota don’t have to make the trip to Champaign. Certainly could be worse. We may lose out on some easy home wins, but we don’t have to head to Michigan or Purdue – which have both been difficult locations for the Illini in past years.
View the full printable schedule by clicking here! You can also take a gander at the full Big Ten basketball schedule.
Oh and by the way, football starts this weekend!