Big Ten announces 2023-24 basketball schedule: Which matchups stand out?


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The Big Ten released its men’s basketball conference schedule for the 2023-24 season Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • There will be 140 total matchups between the 14 programs. Each Big Ten team will compete in a 20-game conference schedule.
  • Conference play begins on Dec. 1 when Maryland faces Indiana on the road and Northwestern hosts Purdue.
  • Schools will play seven teams twice and six teams once during conference play. The Big Ten Tournament will take place March 13-17 at Target Center in Minneapolis.
  • Purdue won both the regular-season and Big Ten Tournament titles last season. The Boilermakers are the favorites to repeat after returning All-American center Zach Edey.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Who might take a hit in the December games?

There’s plenty of time to recover after the league’s sneak-peek slate, but the Michigan schools get a jolt straight away. Should Michigan State be favored to beat Wisconsin at home and Nebraska on the road, as one of the Big Ten’s preseason favorites? Absolutely. Could things go sideways in either game? Also absolutely.

The Badgers sit at No. 15 in The Athletic’s preseason top 25 and won’t be an easy out. Michigan, meanwhile, gets Indiana at home on Dec. 5 — no simple task, even if the Hoosiers aren’t quite a top-25 outfit — and then a trip to Iowa five days later. Not a monster duo. But when you’re picked to finish near the bottom of the conference like the Wolverines, it might be tough to pick off even the middleweights in the league. — Hamilton

What’s the toughest stretch for Purdue on its redemption tour?

Put it this way: The Boilermakers, infamously ousted by No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, won’t flop again in March for lack of a rehearsal. The three-game stretch to end the regular season — Michigan State at home, Illinois on the road, Wisconsin at home — might determine who wins the league and certainly will prep Edey and Co. for high-level competition in the weeks to follow.

This isn’t dipping a toe into the sport’s biggest month. This is a cannonball into the raging waters. — Hamilton

Who else got a road full of tacks laid at their feet?

Fans may have to be patient with Northwestern’s pursuit of back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances because the Wildcats could be working from behind by mid-January. Their first five league games are yikes: Home against Purdue, at Illinois, home against Michigan State, then consecutive road games at Penn State and Wisconsin.

Iowa likely isn’t loving its setup in the heart of the season, meanwhile: The Hawkeyes have six road games between Jan. 27 and Feb. 24, with a tough home game against Wisconsin dropped in the middle of the stretch. — Hamilton

Who got a clear runway?

Wisconsin should be favored in its first seven league games in 2024, starting with Iowa at home on Jan. 2. The three opponents the Badgers will see on the road in that stretch — Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota — are in various stages of distress or transition.

Naturally, this being the Big Ten, we wouldn’t expect Greg Gard’s crew to run this particular span of the table. But it’s a big opportunity to get ahead of the pack. — Hamilton

Required reading

(Photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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