Archie Miller
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IU Basketball: Hoosiers’ 2020-21 Schedule Should Be One of the More Difficult in Recent Years

Although the calendar still says early May, most of Indiana’s 2020-21 schedule is known.

And if you are in the camp that thinks that IU should be facing a bit more challenging slate, you will no doubt be pleased with what’s in store for the 2020-21 campaign.

After starting the 2019-20 season with seven straight games against mid and low major competition, the Hoosiers played 25 consecutive games against high majors including one Big Ten Tournament contest.  That respectable schedule ranked No. 23 nationally according to KenPom.

Things will get worse in November.

Fueled by a November trip to Hawaii, IU’s 2020-21 schedule will entail several early challenges, and when it is all said and done the Hoosiers should face high major opponents in 26 of their 31 regular season games.

Indiana was just 13-12 in their 25 games against high major opponents this past season, but they return most of their roster and should be bolstered by more depth in the backcourt.

The first major test in November is likely to be the Gavitt Tipoff Games contest during the first full week of the season.  Matchups are determined by the league commissioners for the annual Big Ten / Big East event along with input from the schools and networks.  The only requirement is that each Big Ten team must play at least four times during the eight year (2015-2022) contract.

Indiana has participated in The Gavitt Games three times (twice at home) thus far but was not involved last season.  An announcement on the 2020 schedule should be coming soon, and we expect IU to be involved.

The Hoosiers will travel to the Maui Invitational during the week of Thanksgiving and will face three teams in three days from a field that consists of Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.  The bracket for the event should be released this summer.

During the week after IU returns from Hawaii they will most likely have to return to the road for the Big Ten / ACC Challenge.  The matchups are typically announced in June, and a trip to Virginia, Wake Forest, Miami or Clemson could be in store.

Indiana’s annual trip to Indianapolis for the Crossroads Classic will be held on Dec. 19.  Rob Phinisee will relive his freshman season glory as the Hoosiers face Butler this year, and Joey Brunk will be on the other side of the matchup this time as he goes against his old team.

Of course the Big Ten will once again play a 20 game schedule in 2020-21, including two games sandwiched in between the Big Ten / ACC Challenge and the Butler contest.  That stretch beginning in Maui on Nov. 23 to Butler on Dec. 19 should be particularly brutal when factoring in the two Big Ten contests and the amount of travel.

The Big Ten projects to look much like it did in 2019-20, with 12 of the 14 teams likely to be in the KenPom top-100.  The league should once again be one of if not the deepest conference in America, with very few nights off, and nothing easy on the road.  The assignment of Big Ten opponents usually comes out in April, so the league is a little behind this year.

With 20 Big Ten games and the 6 pre-determined non-conference contests described above, that leaves just 5 remaining games for the 31 contest regular season.  Look for all five to be against teams that are not in the KenPom top-100.

Inside the Hall has reported that IU will face Robert Morris and Nebraska-Omaha in two of those five games, meaning that there are only three more yet to be determined matchups for the upcoming season.

This is a rough sketch of how the 2020-21 schedule should look.

  • Nov. 10 – TBD 1
  • Nov. 13/14 – TBD 2
  • Nov. 16/17/18/19 – Gavitt
  • Nov. 23-25 – Maui (three games)
  • Nov. 30/Dec. 1/2 – Big Ten/ACC
  • Dec. 4/5/6 – Big Ten 1
  • Dec. 8/9/10 – Big Ten 2
  • Dec. 12 – vs. TBD 3
  • Dec. 19 – vs. Butler (Indianapolis)
  • Dec. 22 – vs. Nebraska-Omaha
  • Dec. 29 – vs. Robert Morris
  • Jan. – Mar. – Big Ten 3-20

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