As the Big Ten released its 2023-24 men’s basketball conference schedules on Tuesday, IU learned what its complete schedule will look like for the upcoming season.
The conference had previously announced every team’s slate of opponents, so the Hoosiers already knew which teams they’d see once and which they’d see twice this year. But now there’s a full order of play.
Here are six quick thoughts on the slate.
- It’s tough to pick out a part of the schedule that’s overwhelmingly tough. The hardest string of consecutive opponents looks like the end of January, when IU hosts Purdue, then plays at Wisconsin and Illinois, and then hosts Iowa. But there’s more than a full week between those Wisconsin and Illinois games, so it’s spread out in terms of actual time. Three of Indiana’s final four games are against Wisconsin, at Maryland, and Michigan State; but the Minnesota game between Maryland and MSU softens that landing.
- This schedule looks like it’s spaced out pretty well. There aren’t any gauntlet runs of five games in 10 days or anything like that. Indiana has two stretches of four games in 10 days, but that’s not abnormal, and both contain opponents expected to be near the bottom of the standings. There are two separate eight-day breaks between games in this schedule.
- Playing Maryland and Michigan in the December games makes that first half of that month one of the toughest four-game stretches IU will have all year. Those two games will lead into the Auburn game, with Kansas looming a week later. So the Terrapins and Wolverines games should be good early tests.
- IU has one conference home game during winter break: a Saturday, Jan. 6 tilt against Ohio State. In addition to that one, IU has four other weekend home games during Big Ten play. The Hoosiers host Minnesota on Friday, Jan. 12, Penn State on Saturday, Feb. 3, Northwestern on Sunday, Feb. 18, and Michigan State on Sunday, March 10.
- When Big Ten play gets into full swing in January, Indiana’s landing could be softer. There’s no way to know how teams will look by then, and Nebraska and Ohio State could be improved this season. But the Hoosiers don’t face a team expected to be a serious contender for a conference title until the first IU-Purdue game, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Jan. 16.
- Playing Michigan State to wrap the regular season is interesting. The Spartans are one of the top teams in the Big Ten this season, and Indiana plays them only once this season. So IU will end the regular season against a team it hadn’t already played earlier in the slate.