MADISON – Opening Big Ten play away from the Kohl Center isn’t easy.
Opening Big Ten play against Tom Izzo and Michigan State, in the Breslin Center, isn’t easy.
Opening Big Ten play against the Spartans – three days after hosting rival Marquette and four days before facing powerful Arizona in Tucson – is a gauntlet.
Welcome to one of the more telling weeks on Wisconsin’s 2023-24 men’s basketball schedule.
The release Tuesday of the Big Ten schedule revealed Greg Gard’s team opens league play Dec. 5 against the Spartans, who are expected to challenge for the title.
Marquette and Arizona are expected to challenge for their respective league titles as well.
That means in a span of eight days UW will play three games against teams expected to challenge for their respective league titles.
Unlike the previous six seasons, UW will play just one league game in December.
After facing Arizona in Tucson, UW has home games Dec. 14 against Jacksonville State and Dec. 22 against Chicago State.
UW’s final 19 Big Ten games include just one pair of consecutive road games – Feb. 7 at Michigan and Feb. 10 at Rutgers.
By contrast, the Badgers have two sets of consecutive home games – Jan. 2 against Iowa and Jan. 6 against Nebraska and then March 2 against Illinois and March 7 against Rutgers.
The end of January appears daunting for a team looking to bounce back from a 9-11 mark in league play last season.
UW hosts Indiana on the 19th, travels to face rival Minnesota on the 23rd and then returns home for the rematch with Michigan State on the 26th.
Greg Gard’s team went 9-11 in Big Ten Conference play last season.
February and the stretch run will be challenging
February features five road games, including the two-game swing to Michigan and Rutgers, and only three home games.
The home games won’t be gimmies.
Defending champion Purdue visits the Kohl Center on Feb. 4. Ohio State, which bounced UW from the Big Ten tournament last season, visits on the 13th. Maryland, which split two…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/wisconsins-big-ten-basketball-opener-163210277.html?src=rss
Author : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Publish date : 2023-09-19 16:32:10
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.