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