The Big Ten announced its conference matchups for the 2018-19 men’s basketball season on Thursday.
The league will move from an 18-game to a 20-game conference schedule for the first time and every team will play seven opponents twice and six opponents once (three home and three away).
The new schedule also will protect in-state rivalries, meaning Michigan-Michigan State, Indiana-Purdue and Illinois-Northwestern will play twice on an annual basis. The Spartans and Wolverines played just once during the regular season in two of the past three seasons.
At first glance, Michigan appears to have a favorable slate and will play Nebraska, Ohio State and Purdue — who all finished with at least 13 conference wins and accounted for four of Michigan’s eight losses this past season — at home only.
The Wolverines will have single-play road games at Illinois, Iowa and Rutgers, and have a home-and-away series with Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin.
On the other hand, Michigan State, the reigning Big Ten regular-season champion, has double-plays against the four teams who finished in the top five of the conference standings this past season in Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Purdue as well as Indiana, Iowa and Rutgers.
The Spartans also will host Maryland, Minnesota and Northwestern and travel to Illinois, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Matchup dates will be announced in mid-August on BTN, and game times and TV designations will be released after Labor Day.
Home: Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue
Away: Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers
Home/away: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin
Home: Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern
Away: Illinois, Penn State, Wisconsin
Home/away: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers