2014-15 schedule: What we know
On Monday, the Jimmy V Classic announced Illinois and Villanova will play Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden. While the Illini’s 2014-15 nonconference schedule isn’t complete, it’s getting there. Here’s what you need to know courtesy beat writer Marcus Jackson:
The Illini open Las Vegas Invitational play against Indiana State at Orleans Arena on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the second consecutive season in which Illinois will visit Sin City after visiting UNLV in 2013.
Bet on Black
Illinois plays either Baylor or Memphis on Nov. 28 to conclude Las Vegas Invitational play. UI freshman Leron Black was once committed to Baylor, and the Memphis native was also heavily recruited by the hometown Tigers.
This year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge game will be at Miami on Dec. 2. It’ll be the first meeting between the programs since the 2013 NCAA tournament game the Hurricanes won that featured a controversial call late.
Big Ten flavor
The Illini-Villanova game (6 p.m., ESPN) tips off the two-game Jimmy V Classic, followed by Indiana-Louisville. It’s the first appearance at the home of the New York Knicks for the Illini since 2010.
The Braggin’ Rights game against Missouri will be staged in late December at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center. The Illini snapped a four-game skid in the series last year and will get their first look at new Tigers coach Kim Anderson.
The annual United Center game will feature a matchup between Illinois and Oregon, a rematch of last year’s game played in Portland, Ore., where Dana Altman’s 13th-ranked Ducks won 71-64.