The Big Ten just announced the home/away pairings for the 2015-2016 basketball season. Before we touch on some observations, here's how the schedule will look for Illinois next year:
Home Only: Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue
Away Only: Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State
Both Home and Away: Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, Rutgers, Wisconsin
First impression? The future scheduling of these matchups will have a huge impact on this (potential games during Winter break when students are gone), but right now that looks pretty favorable. The Illini will avoid four of the toughest road environments in the conference and two, maybe three, of their 'away only' games will be very manageable.
One thing is for sure--with Michigan, Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin coming to Champaign next year, there will be some fantastic games played at the State Farm Center.