Big Ten announces 20-game conference schedule for men's basketball

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The Big Ten released its conference basketball schedules for men and women Thursday, setting the 20-game slates for the 2018-19 season.

Dates and times will be announced later.

As 247Sports author Zach Shaw points out, at least on paper, this could be a somewhat favorable Big Ten slate for MI.

The Badgers will have home games against Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska and Purdue while having only road games at Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern and Rutgers. The Buckeyes are losing conference player of the year, junior Keita Bates-Dip, to the pros as well.

The Wisconsin Badgers will play home and away games with Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State.

The complete schedule with dates and times of all the matchups will be released late in the summer.

MI incoming freshman Ignas Brazdeikis is also already displaying some Wagner-esque brash confidence as well.

All recruiting rankings (both for players and teams) found via 247Sports unless otherwise noted. As with the men, Indiana-Purdue is a protected rivalry and the teams will play twice this season.

Among the notable matchups on the schedule is the Buckeyes only playing national runner-up MI once this season.

Penn State returns starters Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins, and Josh Reaves after losing guards Tony Carr and Shep Garner to the NBA Draft and graduation, respectively. What role might everyone have and which players could turn out to be sleepers for All-Conference honors down the road? Maryland is losing Justin Jackson to the National Basketball Association but returns perhaps the best backcourt in the Big Ten in Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter, plus a crop of freshman that ranks tops in the league. Penn State defeated Colgate 72-59.

Lindsay Whalen's Gophers team will see its Big Ten schedule expand to 18 games this winter.

The Spartans' seven double-play opponents include the other four teams that finished in the top five of the final 2017-18 standings: Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska. The Hoosiers finished seventh in the Big Ten previous year, while Iowa and Rutgers finished in the final two spots of the league standings. The men achieved a 4-14 record before falling to Iowa in the Big Ten tournament's first round.

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