Just talked to Illini baseball coach Dan Hartleb and learned that his team will be the first to play a Big Ten series against conference newcomer Nebraska.
Hartleb said the Illini are scheduled to open the 2012 league race at Lincoln, Neb. The series is scheduled for March 23-25.
The Cornhuskers are scheduled to visit Illinois Field in 2013.
With Nebraska bringing the number of Big Ten baseball programs to 11, future conference schedule will include one bye weekend for each member school. In Illinois' case, the 2012 bye will be on the second weekend of the conference race.
We'll have more on Illini baseball scheduling later this week in a story taking a look at how the team shapes up for next season, particularly in the wake of the MLB draft. With four Illini juniors and Illinois' top recruit selected, this could be a much different looking team from the one that won a Big Ten co-title and the conference tournament en route to the NCAA regional finals.