2017-2018 Big Ten preview: Top non-conference games

  • 08/28/2017 10:50 am in

With the start of college basketball practice season about a month away, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next couple of months. Today, we begin our look at the Big Ten with ten non-conference games, listed in chronological order, that you’ll want to mark on your calendars as must see. Note: Rankings are from Gary Parrish’s preseason top 25 on CBSSports.com.

No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Duke, Nov. 14
Event: Champions Classic
TV coverage: ESPN

The Champions Classic is always an intriguing event and it will be no different this year when two legitimate national title contenders square off in Chicago. This game will be loaded with potential lottery picks and two Hall of Fame coaches will be roaming the sidelines. For November, it’s hard to get much better than this.

Butler at Maryland, Nov. 15
Event: Gavitt Tipoff Games
TV coverage: FS1 or BTN

Both of these teams look like NCAA tournament teams entering the season – at least on paper – but both are trying to replace experienced point guards. Maryland lost Melo Trimble to the professional ranks and the Bulldogs graduated Tyler Lewis. The matchup to watch in this game will be Kelan Martin vs. Justin Jackson on the wing. Jackson is a bonafide NBA prospect, but Martin is a veteran scorer who is capable of going off for 30.

No. 23 Xavier at Wisconsin, Nov. 16
Event: Gavitt Tipoff Games
TV coverage: FS1

How good is Wisconsin? It’s one of the most difficult questions to answer entering the season. Greg Gard lost four starters, but returns an All-American candidate in Ethan Happ. This will be the first major test for the Badgers and should provide a good barometer of what to expect moving forward.

No. 6 Louisville at No. 24 Purdue, Nov. 28
Event: Big Ten-ACC Challenge
TV coverage: TBA

This is a rematch from last season’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge, a contest that Louisville won 71-64 at the KFC Yum Center. The Boilermakers will be one of the Big Ten’s best teams, but can they beat an elite national opponent early in the season? Louisville’s size and athleticism in the frontcourt will provide a stern test for Isaac Haas and Vincent Edwards.

No. 11 Miami at No. 14 Minnesota, Nov. 29
Event: Big Ten-ACC Challenge
TV coverage: TBA

Minnesota’s non-conference schedule isn’t great and this is easily the best game on it. Miami has a potential lottery pick in the backcourt in Bruce Brown, but the Gophers have a senior point guard in Nate Mason who will be in the running for first team All-Big Ten honors once again.

No. 1 Duke at Indiana, Nov. 29
Event: Big Ten-ACC Challenge
TV coverage: TBA

Indiana has proven it can beat almost anybody at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and the crowd in Bloomington should be electric, but Duke has the talent to win a sixth national championship. This is the first marquee home game for the Hoosiers of the Archie Miller era.

No. 13 Notre Dame at No. 4 Michigan State, Nov. 30
Event: Big Ten-ACC Challenge
TV coverage: TBA

Mike Brey has quietly built Notre Dame into one of the nation’s most consistent programs and the Fighting Irish have a preseason Blue Ribbon All-American in Bonzi Colson. Watching Colson go head-to-head with Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson will be an early season treat for college basketball fans.

No. 20 UCLA at Michigan, Dec. 9
TV coverage: TBA

Michigan is another team that is tough to forecast in the preseason. The Wolverines must replace Derrick Walton and are going to rely on a grad transfer (Jaaron Simmons) and a transfer (Charles Matthews) to take on significant roles. The Bruins will be young, but boast one of the nation’s top recruiting classes.

Indiana at No. 6 Louisville, Dec. 9
TV coverage: TBA

The Hoosiers were beaten handily by the Cardinals last season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and in the second game of this three-game series, the venue switches to the KFC Yum Center. Indiana’s three games prior to this matchup: Duke, at Michigan and Iowa.

Butler vs. No. 24 Purdue, Dec. 16
Event: Crossroads Classic
TV coverage: TBA

Purdue finally broke through and won a game in the Crossroads Classic last season and now the Boilermakers will attempt to snap a five-game losing streak against the Bulldogs. Purdue hasn’t beaten Butler since 1998.

(Photo credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images North America)

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  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    dang it i would love to see iu take down an acc opponent this season, but it’s gonna be tough. and we’ve only got one year remaining on the ul series after this season. sure hope we got a lot better really fast. we really need to beat those guys

  • inLinE6

    I’d be shocked if those series are not renewed. Sounds like annual games against UL and Zona would be fun.

  • weitrhino

    Even if the UL series does not renew we’ll have AZ coming up

  • Molon Labe

    We still have ND from the ACC to play too. That gives us three shots a W. I think we can get at least one of them.