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New Year's Eve once again means must-see basketball for Indiana, which will open Big Ten play on that night for the sixth straight season, the third straight time on the road, when it heads to Nebraska.
On Jan. 5, it plays at Michigan State, giving the Hoosiers one of the more difficult conference opening weeks as it attempts to bounce back after its 7-11 league record from last year.
The good news is IU will end the regular season with home games against Iowa on March 3 and Michigan State on March 7.
The Big Ten announced its league schedule on Wednesday, with IU sent to appear on ESPN twice – at Wisconsin on Feb. 3 and hosting Iowa on March 3.
IU wil have home-and-home meetings with Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Maryland and Rutgers. Single meetings on the road include Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin. Single meetings at Assembly Hall include Penn State, Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa.
Last season the Hoosiers led the Big Ten in attendance, and ranked No. 6 nationally, by averaging 17,359.
The youthful Hoosiers are coming off a five-game, six-day trip to Canada. They went 4-1.
“The trip to Canada really gave us an opportunity to gain invaluable experience,” coach Tom Crean said in a university release. “With that and the pre-conference schedule, you want your team to better itself by going against a lot of different styles of play.
“I think our fans are going to enjoy the home schedule, with teams they have not seen before like Pittsburgh, SMU, Rutgers and Maryland as well as old rivals like Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Minnesota. We have had some amazing games against those teams in Assembly Hall and I would expect more of the same this season.”