The Big Ten announced the 2020-21 conference basketball schedule Wednesday afternoon, and the University of Minnesota countered by releasing the non-conference portion of the schedule immediate after—-with only a week to spare before the season is scheduled to start! Minnesota will open the 2020-21 season Wednesday November 25th at home against Green Bay.
The Gophers announced four other non-conference games thus far—all at Williams Arena. They mostly include games we previously knew about including a December 4th game against North Dakota, the December 8th ACC/Big Ten Challenge game against Boston College and a December 20th game against St. Louis. Also added is a December 10th game where the Gophers will host Kansas City.
Most notably missing from the current schedule is the Minnesota Multi-team event that has been confirmed on their opponents schedules for November 29th and 30th where the Gophers were slated to host Eastern Washington and Loyola Marymount. Considering Minnesota is expected to play seven non-conference games and those two would make it seven, they probably will be announced at a later date—but are also the two that have the most potential to be cancelled just due to the distance the opponents will be traveling.
Minnesota will play a 20 game Big Ten slate and will open conference play against arguably the top four teams in the conference. The Gophers will head to Champaign to face Illinois Fighting Illini in the conference openers for both teams on December 15th. Minnesota will open the home portion of the conference schedule in one quad of what appears to be a Christmas Day quadruple header against rival Iowa Hawkeyes. Three nights later the Gophers will host Tom Izzo and Michigan State Spartans before closing out 2020 with a bang on New Years Eve in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers.
The full schedule as announced is below:
The Big Ten is trying to set up the conference for the best ability to play all 20 conference games. To that end the Big Ten has set up the schedule with maximum flexibility in the potential rescheduling of games with the addition of two sets of collapsible byes during the weeks of Jan. 18-21 and Jan. 25-28, and the weeks of Feb. 22-25 and March 1-5 for each of the 14 schools. Thus the hope would be that any potentially postponed games could be made up during one of those periods.
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played March 10-14 at the United Center in Chicago.
TV designations will be announced at a later date, but the Big ten is promoting the fact that this season will have the most over the air broadcasts (CBS, ABC, FOX) of any Big Ten schedule with 17. They are also promoting their Christmas Day slate of games fairly hard so expect some kind of special broadcast most likely focusing on the Minnesota/Iowa and Wisconsin/Michigan State games specifically. The link to the full Big Ten composite conference schedule can be found HERE.