Weekend matchups against Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa and Maryland at Pinnacle Bank Arena highlight the Huskers’ 2014-15 Big Ten schedule, as the Big Ten Conference unveiled its complete conference slate Thursday evening on BTN Live.
Nebraska, which finished fourth in the Big Ten with an 11-7 mark in 2013-14, will face a challenging slate as 12 of its 18 Big Ten contests are against teams which reached postseason last year, including a pair of matchups with Final Four qualifier Wisconsin.
The Badgers are one of the Huskers’ five opponents Nebraska will face twice this year in the Big Ten schedule, joining Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and newcomer Maryland. The Huskers will face the other eight teams, including Elite Eight qualifiers Michigan and Michigan State, once apiece.
The Huskers were 8-1 in Big Ten play at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14, its best conference showing since a perfect 7-0 mark during the 1965-66 season.
The conference schedule commences on New Year’s Eve, as the Huskers open Big Ten action against Indiana in the only matchup between the two schools. It marks the first time since the 2011-12 season that Nebraska has opened conference play at home. The Indiana contest begins a stretch where Nebraska will play three of its first four games at PBA, including tilts with Big Ten newcomer Rutgers (Jan. 8) and Illinois (Jan. 11).
The game against Illinois starts a run of six straight games against postseason qualifiers to end the month of January, including games at Wisconsin (Jan. 15), at Michigan (Jan. 27, 6 p.m., ESPN) and a home matchup against Michigan State (Jan. 24). Nebraska will face NIT champion Minnesota twice within a two-week span, hosting the Gophers on Tuesday, Jan. 20, before traveling to Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan. 31.
The second half of Big Ten action begins on Tuesday, Feb. 3, as the Huskers welcome Northwestern to Pinnacle Bank Arena. The month of February also features a Super Tuesday showdown with Wisconsin (Feb. 10, 8 p.m., ESPN) as well as visit from Iowa (Feb. 22) along with road trips to Penn State (Feb. 7), Purdue (Feb. 15), Maryland (Feb. 19) and Ohio State (Feb. 26).
The Huskers, who play four of their final six games away from Pinnacle Bank Arena, travel to Illinois for their final Big Ten road game on Wednesday, March 4, before hosting Maryland on Senior Day on Sunday, March 8.
The 14-team conference also features an expanded Big Ten Tournament, which returns to Chicago for 2015. The event starts with a pair of first-round games on Wednesday, March 11, at the United Center and concludes on Sunday, March 15, just prior to the NCAA Tournament selection announcement.
The Huskers return all five starters, including All-Big Ten selections Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields, from a team which went 19-13 last year and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, Coach Tim Miles enters his third season at Nebraska after being named the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Start times and television information, except the two games announced previously by ESPN, will be released by Big Ten in September. All conference games are nationally televised on the Big Ten’s television partners. The ticket renewal process is underway for current season ticket holders, while UNL students have already purchased all of the seats in the Red Zone for the 2014-15 season.