A few weeks after receiving the Gophers conference basketball schedule, the team mercifully gave us the non-conference portion, which theoretically means the team’s complete schedule is set in stone. All good, right? Well, not quite. Marcus Fuller reports that there are still a couple mystery games that could be added to the schedule, including Manhattan and North Dakota as part of the still-unnamed Williams Arena Invitational (note: that is not the official name). We’ll see how that nets out.
Until then, the Gophers have a full 29-game schedule, which on the surface appears to be one of the strongest non-conference slates we’ve seen in quite a while. In fact, when the dust settles they’ll have one of the strongest SOS in the conference, having scheduled six Power Six opponents to round out the non-conference schedule.
Minnesota kicks off the season with an exhibition game at the Barn on Monday, October 28 against Southwest Minnesota State and officially tips off one week later on November 5 against Cleveland State.
A three-game road trip follows, starting with a neutral-site matchup against Oklahoma at Sioux Falls on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Gophers then get tested with two tough games away from Williams Arena: at Butler in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Tuesday, Nov. 12 and at Utah on Friday, Nov. 15.
The Gophers then stay home for the rest of the month, beginning a homestand by hosting Central Michigan on Thursday, Nov. 21. The day after Thanksgiving, the Big East comes to town, as Minnesota squares off against DePaul on Friday, Nov. 29. Finally, the Gophers open December with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, hosting Clemson on Monday, Dec. 2.
After an abbreviated step into conference play at Iowa and home against Ohio State the Gophers wrap up the non-Big Ten schedule with a neutral-site game in Tulsa against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Dec. 21 and then hosting Florida International on Saturday, Dec. 28.
Then the true Big Ten season starts, as the Gophers restart conference play with arguably their toughest stretch on the schedule. The Gophers head to Purdue on January 2nd before returning home to face Northwestern. Minnesota next heads to East Lansing for a game against Michigan State before returning home to the Barn to host Michigan and Penn State.
A few other highlights include the Gophers hosting Wisconsin on Wednesday, February 5th, and heading to Madison on Sunday March 1st. Iowa’s return to the Barn comes Sunday February 16th. The Gophers will finish the Big Ten regular season on March 8th when they host Nebraska.