MJ: Illini schedule shaping up

MJ: Illini schedule shaping up

We know that Illinois will play an 18-game Big Ten schedule during the 2013-14 season and that it will be released by the league later this summer.

That leaves 13 slots for nonconference games — of which we know of nine games.

That leaves four dates to fill, one of which could be a neutral-court game against an opponent from a major conference that would return the game next season at the United Center. Here’s a look at the 2013-14 Illini schedule as we know it now:

OPPONENT    SITE    MARCUS JACKSON’S COMMENT
Auburn    Birmingham, Ala.    The Illini — minus Alabama native Devin Langford — return the game to the Tigers, who visited the United Center last season

UNLV    Las Vegas    The Runnin’ Rebels get a return date from the Illini after traveling to the United Center in 2011

Illinois-Chicago    United Center    The Flames shocked the Illini and disappointed orange-clad fans in the last meeting in 2010

Missouri    St. Louis    This will be the 31st straight season the Tigers and Illini hook up in St. Louis, with Mizzou winning the last four

Bradley    State Farm Center    Braves coach Geno Ford, the brother of Illinois assistant Dustin, brought his Kent State team to Champaign during the 2010 NIT

Chicago State    State Farm Center    Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu and Myke Henry were freshmen when the Illini beat the Cougars 90-43 in 2011

Alabama State    State Farm Center    This will be the first meeting between Illinois and the Hornets, who went 8-10 and tied for fifth in the SWAC last season

Jacksonville State    State Farm Center    Tennessee State, another Ohio Valley Conference team, left with a 60-58 upset win in December 2007

Big Ten/ACC Challenge    TBA    After playing Georgia Tech at home during last year’s Challenge, the Illini likely will be on the road in the series’ 15th installment

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