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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:40 pm

IU, Purdue basketball to play twice next season

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

The Big Ten released its conference basketball schedules for both men and women Thursday, setting the 20-game slates for the 2018-19 season. Men's Big Ten teams will play 20 conference games for the first time this season, after playing 18 in each of the last 11 seasons. The conference's women's teams will play 18 conference games for the first time.

Each men's team has seven home-and-home matchups along with three home-only games and three road-only matchups. On the men's side, Indiana and Purdue will play twice for the third time in the last six seasons. Indiana will also play last year's national runner-up, Michigan, both home and away and will have two matchups against 2018 Big Ten regular-season champion Michigan State.

"The new schedules ensure that all three of the Big Ten's in-state rivals – Illinois/Northwestern, Indiana/Purdue, and Michigan/Michigan State – will play twice on an annual basis," Kerry Kenny, the Big Ten's assistant commissioner, said in a statement. "Increasing the frequency of conference competition allows the Big Ten to compete across a larger footprint, while respecting history and balancing the needs of our students, coaches and fans."

Purdue's men's team will have home-and-home series against both Michigan State and Ohio State. Those three teams were the top three finishers in the conference last season.

The conference's women's teams will each play five opponents twice, with four single games on the road and four at home. As with the men, Indiana-Purdue is a protected rivalry and the teams will play twice this season.

Both Indiana and Purdue will play host to perennial powerhouse Maryland, but don't have to play the Terrapins on the road. The Boilermakers will also play a single home game against both Ohio State and Michigan, two teams that were in the NCAA Tournament last season. The Buckeyes were the Big Ten's regular-season champions. Indiana plays Ohio State once, but on the road.

The conference has taken geography into account with the new schedule, giving teams extra games against opponents that are in the same geographic area. Kenny said this emphasis is in place to "optimize travel, academic and recovery impacts."

Only the opponents for each team have been released, with dates, times, and television information to follow later in the summer. The dates for the games will be released on the Big Ten Network in mid-August and the game times and TV schedules will be announced after Labor Day, Kenny said.

dsinn@jg.net