2012-2013 Big Ten Preview: Top non-conference games

We tip-off our 2012-2013 Big Ten preview today with a look at ten non-conference games, listed in no particular order, that you’ll want to mark on your calendars as must see.

Ohio State vs. Marquette on Friday, November 9
Event: Carrier’s Classic on the U.S.S. Yorktown at Charleston, S.C.
TV coverage: ESPN

Another year, another game on an air craft carrier to open the college basketball season. This year’s game won’t have the same national appeal as last year’s tilt between Michigan State and North Carolina in the San Diego Bay, but the post-Jared Sullinger era will get underway for Thad Matta outdoors against a Big East opponent in front of a national television audience.

Michigan State vs. Kansas on Tuesday, November 13
Event: Champion’s Classic at the Georgia Dome
TV coverage: ESPN

The second year of the Champion’s Classic shifts south to the Georgia Dome (also the site of the 2013 Final Four) and will open with a pair of teams expected to be in the top ten in the preseason polls. Tom Izzo’s non-conference schedule is once again ambitious in East Lansing, so we’ll know quite a bit about the Spartans by the time the Big Ten season rolls around.

Wisconsin at Florida on Wednesday, November 14
TV coverage: TBA

After a run to the Elite 8, Florida should once again open the season in the top 15 thanks to the return of Patric Young, who many expect to be the SEC’s player of the year. Wisconsin will re-tool a bit following the graduation of Jordan Taylor, but the Badgers return just about every other important piece and add Sam Dekker on the wing.

North Carolina State at Michigan on Tuesday, November 27
Event: Big Ten/ACC Challenge
TV coverage: ESPN

This could be among the best non-conference games in all of college basketball if North Carolina State freshman Rodney Purvis’ eligibility issues are resolved. The Wolfpack return four starters, including one of the ACC’s best front court players in C.J. Leslie, and Michigan’s backcourt of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will be one of the nation’s best. This game will also feature a star-studded cast of freshman in Purvis, T.J. Warren, Tyler Lewis, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III.

North Carolina at Indiana on Tuesday, November 27
Event: Big Ten/ACC Challenge
TV coverage: ESPN

Assembly Hall was unkind to opponents a season ago as the Hoosiers went 18-1 at home and laid the foundation for what is expected to be a magical season in Bloomington. Despite the loss of four NBA Draft picks, James Michael McAdoo opted to return for his sophomore season and will be surrounded by a deep cast of backcourt and wing players who will have the Tar Heels back in the ACC title hunt. McAdoo going head-to-head with Cody Zeller should be one of the premier front court matchups all season.

Ohio State at Duke on Wednesday, November 28
Event: Big Ten/ACC Challenge
TV coverage: ESPN

Considering this is probably the third best game in the event on paper, the matchups in this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge are terrific. The loss of Miles Plumlee will leave a gap in Duke’s front court, but Ohio State has some question marks on their front line as well with Amir Williams and Evan Ravenel looking to step in for Sullinger. Both teams, however, have strong backcourts with Aaron Craft leading the way for Ohio State and Seth Curry and Quinn Cook returning for Duke and five-star Rasheed Sulaimon arriving.

Wisconsin at Marquette on Saturday, December 8
TV coverage: TBA

After falling to Marquette at the Kohl Center last December, Wisconsin will look for payback when they make the 80-mile drive across the state. It’s no secret these two programs don’t like each other and while Marquette could be regress following the graduations of Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, the Golden Eagles return three starters from a team that made the Sweet 16.

Indiana vs. Butler on Saturday, December 15
Event: Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV coverage: TBA

Indiana won the meeting between these two teams easily a season ago in Bloomington, but the game shifts to a neutral court in Indianapolis this year and Butler adds Rotnei Clarke, who should be a major upgrade offensively over Ronald Nored. The problem for the Bulldogs, as will be the same for most teams Indiana faces, is this: Who will slow down Cody Zeller?

Kansas at Ohio State on Saturday, December 22
TV coverage: TBA

This is the third of three marquette non-conference games for the Buckeyes and it’s probably their stiffest challenge with Jeff Withey’s return to anchor the front line for Bill Self. Even with the losses of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, the Jayhawks are expected to land atop the Big 12.

Texas at Michigan State on Saturday, December 22
TV coverage: TBA

After a disappointing 2011-2012 season, Texas should be much improved with a year of experience in the books for point guard Myck Kabongo and a talented freshman class arriving on campus. Michigan State, on the other hand, should be rounding into form for Big Ten play right around this time after their challenging non-conference slate.

Also considered: Michigan State at Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 28; Minnesota at Florida State on Tuesday, Nov. 27; West Virginia vs. Michigan in Brooklyn on Saturday, Dec. 15; Wisconsin at California on Sunday, Dec. 2; Arkansas at Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 8; Minnesota vs. Duke on Thursday, Nov. 22.

  • VerdellJonesIV

    I’m not sure if I am reading that wrong or if it’s just a small error, but Duke only lost Miles Plumlee. Miles was coming off the bench most of the season backing up his brother Mason so I don’t really think they will have a vulnerable front court with Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly in the middle.

  • INexpat2001

    In fact, they gain another Plumlee (Marshall, who’s 6′ 11″) so Duke has multiple Plumlees again in the frontcourt

  • Hardwood83

    B1G should definately win the ACC/Big Ten challenge again.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Meant to say the loss of Miles Plumlee. My error.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Correct.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Mmmmm all of the games look so amazing. Need. College. Basketball. Cannot. Hold. Out. For. Much. Longer!!!!!!!!

  • N71

    I didn’t realize that Kansas already had Michigan State and Ohio State on their schedule. If they were the ones reluctant to play a series with IU I guess I can understand their position. If you’re the KU athletic director though the conference alignment turmoil has got to make you uncomfortable.

  • SCHoosier

    So many great games..so little time. Anybody aware of any major rule changes for the zebra’s to dissect that might impact the competition this year?

  • iufan4life10

    I think OSU plays at Duke this season in the challenge.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Yup. Another error for me.

  • inLinE6

    Even it is guaranteed, UCLA may no longer be an elite team due to the eligibility issues with their 3 freshmen stars.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    Haha no Kensucky or UL games.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    Anyone else a little agitated that there is no true road game OOC scheduled for the Hoosiers?

  • Jethro Troll

    No.

  • Jethro Troll

    Kelly doesnt play in the middle. He’s more of a stretch 4 or big 3.

  • ronbpp

    IU needs to dominate these out of conference games!!!!!!!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Because this is a Big Ten non-conference preview.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Wow, that is gutsy! Putting a game on an aircraft carrier halfway up the Atlantic coastline in November… I wonder what the hurricane contingency plan is.

  • hysterical_hoosier

    Duke also lost Rivers

  • catronhoosier

    will this be 3 or 4 straight years bigten wins the BigTen/ACC challenge? i think its almost a sure thing that our conference brings it home again this year BIgTen is much deeper than the ACC.
    Gotta be honest I don’t see the IU UNC game being very good. I think we are head and shoulders better than them. I know they have McAdoo who is a sure fire all american but all around we have more talent and athleticism. The biggest factor is that its in Assembly Hall. The freshmen that UNC will have to play will not be ready for that environment.

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