UI hoops' 2018-19 Big Ten opponents released

UI hoops' 2018-19 Big Ten opponents released

Illinois men's and women's basketball on Thursday learned their slate of Big Ten Conference opponents for the 2018-19 season, with the Illini men taking part in a 20-game league slate for the first time.

Illinois' men will play a pair of games against seven league enemies, taking on the other six once apiece. The UI women will take part in a home/road pairing with five foes over the course of an 18-game conference schedule while squaring off against the other eight teams just once.

Here are the respective 2018-19 opponents for both programs:

ILLINOIS MEN

Home: Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers

Away: Iowa, Maryland, Purdue

Home/Away: Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin

ILLINOIS WOMEN

Home: Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Rutgers

Away: Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue

Home/Away: Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin

The conference office announced future matchups for all 28 teams, though not specific dates for each event. Scheduled dates will be announced in mid-August, while game times and network information will come out after Labor Day, according to a Big Ten press release.

That press release also noted an aim of making sure "the Big Ten's in-state rivals -- Illinois/Northwestern, Indiana/Purdue, and Michigan/Michigan State -- will play twice on an annual basis" when it came to constructing the 20-game men's league schedules.

Both Illini squads struggled in Big Ten play last season. The men achieved a 4-14 record before falling to Iowa in the Big Ten tournament's first round. The women netted an 0-16 mark ahead of a league tournament first-day defeat against Penn State.

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