Illini open Big Ten slate at Michigan

Illini open Big Ten slate at Michigan

The Big Ten on Thursday announced the 2014-15 men's basketball schedule, which for the first time will include Maryland and Rutgers. Here's a look at Illinois' slate. The Illini play five teams at home and on the road, they'll play four teams at home only and four others on the road only.

Dec. 30 — at Michigan

Tracy Abrams and Nnanna Egwu, then sophomores, combined for 19 points and 10 boards in last trip to Crisler.

Jan. 3 — at Ohio State

John Groce's former home hasn't been kind to the Illini. They've lost five straight in Columbus and eight of nine.

Jan. 7 — vs. Maryland

New Big Ten member left Champaign with a 72-66 win in last visit to Champaign, eight years ago.

Jan. 11 — at Nebraska

The Huskers went 8-1 in Big Ten play in their first season playing home games at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Jan. 14 — at Northwestern

After winning 11 straight in Evanston from 2004 to '09, the Illini have lost five of eight, including a 49-43 loss last season.

Jan. 18 — vs. Indiana

Big Ten opener against Hoosiers at home last season (overtime win) as one of the highlights of home schedule.

Jan. 21 — vs. Purdue

The Boilermakers went 1-8 on the road in Big Ten play last season with the lone win coming in Champaign.

Jan. 24 — at Minnesota

The Illini have won two straight and three of their last four games in the venerable Barn.

Jan. 31 — vs. Penn State

Nittany Lions star D.J. Newbill and Illinois' Kendrick Nunn nearly came to blows in last season's meeting in Champaign.

Feb. 3 — vs. Rutgers

This will be just the second meeting on the hardwood between the Illini and the new conference member.

Feb. 7 — at Michigan State

Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice had five steals each in last season's win at the Breslin Center, the first for the Illini since 2006.

Feb. 12 — vs. Michigan

Wolverines have fond memories of Champaign, they vaulted to No. 1 with a win two years ago and clinched Big Ten here last season.

Feb. 15 — at Wisconsin

The two trips Groce has made to Madison have been forgettable, losing by an average of 24 points.

Feb. 22 — vs. Michigan State

Before falling to the Spartans at home last season, the Illini had beaten Tom Izzo's program three straight times in Champaign.

Feb. 25 — at Iowa

Jon Ekey won't be around the bail the Illini out in the final seconds with an improbable three-pointer.

Feb. 28 — vs. Northwestern

Illinois has lost its last two home games to the Wildcats, the first time that's happened since 1930 and '31.

March 4 — vs. Nebraska

Illinois is 3-0 at home against the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten.

March 7 — at Purdue

The Illini have lost four straight and six of seven to the Boilermakers inside Mackey Arena.