The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule Thursday, completing the 2014-15 Fighting Illini men's basketball schedule. The Illini will host a total of 17 home games at State Farm Center.
The Illini will play a total of 13 games during the regular season against 10 teams that participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Illinois has a daunting start to conference play, opening with four out of its first five Big Ten games on the road for the first time since the 1965-66 season.
The Illini begin conference play at Michigan on Dec. 30 before heading to Ohio State on Jan. 3. The UI's lone home contest during its initial five-game stretch is against Maryland on Jan. 7 in the Terrapins' inaugural Big Ten season. Up next are consecutive road trips to Nebraska on Jan. 11 and Northwestern on Jan. 14.
Illinois then enjoys a stretch of four out of five games at home, starting with back-to-back games at State Farm Center against Indiana on Jan. 18 and Purdue on Jan. 21. Following a trip to Minnesota on Jan. 24, the Illini return to campus for a two-game home stand versus Penn State on Jan. 31 followed by Rutgers on Feb. 3 in the Scarlet Knights' first-ever visit to Champaign.
Illinois travels to Michigan State on Feb. 7 before hosting Michigan on Feb. 12. After a road game at Wisconsin on Feb. 15, the Illini face Michigan State for the second time in two weeks, hosting the Spartans on Feb. 22.
The closing stretch begins with a trip to Iowa on Feb. 25 followed by back-to-back home games versus Northwestern on Feb. 28 and Nebraska on March 4 during Senior Night at State Farm Center. Illinois concludes conference play at Purdue on March 7.
The Big Ten Tournament will be held March 11-15 at the United Center in Chicago.