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Huskers’ Big Ten 2018-19 slate has challenging finish

August 22, 2018

Late-season résumé-building opportunities should not be hard to come by this season for the Nebraska men’s basketball team.

The Big Ten Conference released its league schedule Tuesday, and the Huskers will play four of their first six games on the road, then close the regular season with three of their last five away from Lincoln.

Nebraska will open Big Ten Conference play Sunday, Dec. 2, with a home game against Illinois.

Game times and television information will be announced at a later date.

Like last year, each of the conference’s teams is playing two games before the end of 2018. The Huskers’ other early league game is a Dec. 5 contest at Minnesota.

The biggest schedule change this season is the conference going to a 20-game league slate, up from 18 games in previous years. The conference tournament moves back to its traditional weekend and will be played March 13-17 at the United Center in Chicago.

In the weeks leading up to that, Nebraska will close the regular season like this: at Penn State, home against Purdue, at Michigan, at Michigan State, and home against Iowa. That’s three perennial league powers in Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State, a Penn State team that reached the conference semifinals before winning the NIT last season, and what should be a much-improved Iowa squad.

The Huskers will not play any league games on Fridays this season. There are three Saturday conference games on the slate: Ohio State on Jan. 26, Northwestern on Feb. 16, and Purdue on Feb. 23. Nebraska will play two league home games on Sundays — the conference opener against Illinois and the final game of the year against Iowa. Nebraska had zero Saturday home games in conference play two seasons ago, and two last season.

Nebraska has two nonconference games yet to add to complete its full schedule. An early-November exhibition game is also likely to be added at some point.

Nebraska’s known 2018-19 opponents: Nov: 6—Mississippi Valley State; 11—Southeastern Louisiana; 14—Seton Hall; 19—Missouri State*, 20—TBA*; 24—Western Illinois; 26—at Clemson; Dec.: 2—Illinois; 5—at Minnesota; 8—Creighton; 16— vs. Oklahoma State (Sioux Falls, S.D.); Jan.: 2—at Maryland; 6—at Iowa; 10—Penn State; 14—at Indiana; 17—Michigan State; 21—at Rutgers; 26—Ohio State; 29—Wisconsin; Feb.: 2—at Illinois; 6—Maryland; 9—at Purdue; 13—Minnesota; 16—Northwestern; 19—at Penn State; 23—Purdue; 28—at Michigan; March: 5—at Michigan State; 10—Iowa. 13-17—Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. (*Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo.)

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