Yesterday, the Big Ten conference released all the matchups for the 2014-15 basketball season. The Big Ten will feature 14 teams next season because Maryland will come over from the ACC and Rutgers will come from the AAC.
For many Illini fans, the postseason future for their Illinois Fighting Illini seems to a bubble that is about to burst. Because of this, let’s that an early look at the Big Ten conference games for the Fighting Illini next season.
Home: Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Illini fans can take a slight sigh of relief after looking at Illinois’ “one-and-done” home games for next season. Out of the five ranked teams in the Big Ten at this moment, three of them are featured in this category of the schedule.
At the end of the season, Illinois will have played Iowa, Ohio State, and Wisconsin both at and away from the State Farm Center. Illinois is currently 0-5 against these three teams with one more game against Iowa on March 8th.
As for Minnesota, the Gophers lost to the Illini in Minnesota this season and are 1-2 against Illinois since Groce’s arrival in Champaign. However, their lone win came last season in Champaign.
Away: Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers
So it’s official. Illinois will see both Maryland and Rutgers one time each next season, but they will BOTH be on the road. Rutgers might not be a lot to worry about, but Maryland is a coin toss right now.
The other two “one-and-done” road games will feature two teams that went 1-3 against Illinois this past regular season.
The Illini went into State College with the Orange Krush this season and beat Penn State, 60-55. No reason why that cannot happen again nest year.
Indiana is a tough one though. Yes, the Hoosiers beat Illinois at home this season. However, the question is about whether or not Yogi Ferrell will leave for the NBA Draft.
Home/Away: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue
There are definitely some good and bad with Illinois’ five home/away foes for the 2014-15 season.
First, the good is that Illini fans will see two games against Northwestern and Purdue. There is no question that the Wildcats and Boilermakers are rivals for us, and it will be nice to see the Illini beat them two times each next season.
Now for the bad. Illinois will have to play two games against Michigan State and Michigan. Right now, these two are the best in the Big Ten. Illinois already lost to the Spartans this season with another game coming today. The Wolverines will see the Illini once this season on March 4th.
The team in the middle is Nebraska. They will see the Illini twice again next season after splitting two games this season.
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