Big Ten announces MSU 2018-19 home, away opponents

Florence Fletcher
April 21, 2018

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 women are maintaining an 18-game conference schedule, meaning the Husker women will face four opponents once at home, another four once on the road and five teams in home-and-away meetings.

The Iowa men's team will host Illinois, Maryland and MI and hit the road for Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue. Both U-of-M and MSU will play IN twice IN the upcoming season as well. Michigan State's road only opponents are Illinois, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Now, the three the Hawkeyes will play only at Carver-Hawkeye Arena: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan. "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". Those three teams were the top three finishers in the conference last season.

Michigan State won the Big Ten outright in 2018 with a 16-2 conference record.

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Michigan State has a protected rivalry with Michigan to have the two schools play every year under this setup.

As 247Sports author Zach Shaw points out, at least on paper, this could be a somewhat favorable Big Ten slate for MI. What role might everyone have and which players could turn out to be sleepers for All-Conference honors down the road? Kenny said this emphasis is in place to "optimize travel, academic and recovery impacts".

Finalized dates, times and television assignments will come at a later date.

Despite losing do-everything big man Moe Wagner to the NBA last week, the Wolverines still figure to be a contender atop the Big Ten next season with a relatively young and athletic core that gained a lot of experience down the stretch en route to the national championship game.

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