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Illinois Basketball announces 2016-17 schedule

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The program revealed dates for 18 Big Ten games on Thursday.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Illinois vs Iowa Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Get ready — Illinois’ road the 2017 NCAA Tournament has been finalized. The Big Ten Conference announced its basketball schedule on Thursday afternoon, and the Fighting Illini will open league play in College Park on December 27 against the Maryland Terrapins.

The Orange and Blue will be forced to hit the ground running as they’ll face an early string of tough tests, including back-to-back games against Ohio State and Indiana. Unfortunately, Illinois’ student section, The Orange Krush, will miss three of those big home games from January 1-14 due to Winter break. The Spring semester begins on January 17, so Iowa will be their first Big Ten victim of the year.

February is the month where the Illini will need to make their move in order to have any shot at the postseason. The second half of the conference schedule includes a string of six-straight games against teams expected to place near the bottom of the standings.

The final home game of the year will be against Michigan State on March 1, and the regular season will conclude three days later with another trip to Piscataway to face Rutgers.

Illinois Basketball’s Non-Conference Schedule

Date Opponent 2016 KenPom Rank Location
October 30 Washington University (EXH.) N/A Champaign, IL
November 4 Lewis (EXH.) N/A Champaign, IL
November 11 Southeast Missouri State No. 342 Champaign, IL
November 13 Northern Kentucky No. 246 Champaign, IL
November 15 McKendree (D-II) N/A Champaign, IL
November 18 Detroit No. 166 Champaign, IL
November 21 Winthrop No. 154 Champaign, IL
November 24 West Virginia No. 9 Brooklyn, NY
November 25 Florida State OR Temple No. 50/No. 81 Brooklyn, NY
November 29 North Carolina State No. 75 Champaign, IL
December 3 VCU No. 30 Miami, FL
December 6 IUPUI No. 203 Champaign, IL
December 12 Central Michigan No. 156 Champaign, IL
December 17 BYU No. 53 Chicago, IL
December 21 Missouri No. 182 St. Louis, MO

Illinois Basketball’s Big Ten Schedule

Date Opponent 2016 KenPom Rank Location
December 27 Maryland 25 College Park, MD
January 1 Ohio State 80 Champaign, IL
January 7 Indiana 15 Bloomington, IN
January 11 Michigan 58 Champaign, IL
January 14 Maryland 25 Champaign, IL
January 17 Purdue 14 West Lafayette, IN
January 21 Michigan 58 Ann Arbor, MI
January 25 Iowa 23 Champaign, IL
January 28 Penn State 146 University Park, PA
January 31 Wisconsin 33 Champaign, IL
February 4 Minnesota 223 Champaign, IL
February 7 Northwestern 78 Evanston, IL
February 11 Penn State 146 Champaign, IL
February 18 Iowa 23 Iowa City, IA
February 21 Northwestern 78 Champaign, IL
February 26 Nebraska 98 Lincoln, NE
March 1 Michigan State 5 Champaign, IL
March 4 Rutgers 291 Piscataway, NJ