Merry Christmas, Hoosier Nation. The full schedule has arrived for Mike Woodson’s first season as Indiana men’s basketball head coach.
The entire schedule can be viewed here all season long.
There are 31 games: 11 non-conference and 20 Big Ten. 19 of the 31 games are at Assembly Hall, 11 are of the “true road” variety, and there is one neutral site matchup (Notre Dame in Indianapolis). There is one three-game Big Ten homestand (Jan. 20 – Jan. 26), and no road stretch of longer than two games.
Per release, IU is “not expected to schedule any traditional exhibition games against non-Division I opponents.” Times and TV for the games on this schedule will be released gradually over the course of the next few months.
Here are some key dates and nuggets that you need to know.
Nov. 9 – Season Opener vs. Eastern Michigan
Fans will be back in Assembly Hall to cheer on the Indiana Hoosiers for the first time since March 7, 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sporting events around the world. Another interesting aspect of this game is that the head coaching matchup features Mike Woodson and Stan Heath: two people making their debuts at their respective schools. Woodson will also try to avoid the ignominious fate of his predecessor Archie Miller, who dropped his first game in blowout fashion against Indiana State.
Nov. 17 – Gavitt Games vs. St. John’s
St. John’s will be the first high-major team to test the Hoosiers this season, and this matchup could potentially pit two tournament teams, and possibly two Top-25 teams, against each other. This game will almost certainly serve as a major resume booster for the the team that emerges victorious. The superstar matchup to watch: St. John’s Julian Champagnie vs. Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Nov. 30 – at Syracuse
Mike Woodson’s first true road test as head coach at Indiana will come at the Carrier Dome against Jim Boeheim in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Syracuse has NCAA Tournament aspirations once again this season, but both teams will have an adjustment process with plenty of new faces on the roster.
Dec. 4 – vs. Nebraska
Indiana’s Big Ten opener will be an intriguing matchup against an improved Nebraska squad, who add 5-star freshman Bryce McGowens and ASU transfer guard Alonzo Verge. Still, Indiana will be favored in this contest and has a good chance to start their conference season 1-0.
Dec. 8 – at Wisconsin
Indiana hasn’t won in Madison since March 9, 2001. If Woodson pulls it off in his first try, build him a statue.
Dec. 18 – vs. Notre Dame
Indiana’s final Crossroads Classic tilt ever will come against Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana is 4-1 against the Fighting Irish in the event’s history. Mike Brey’s squad slots in at No. 45 in Jon Rothstein’s Top 45. Indiana is No. 36.
Jan. 6 – vs. Ohio State
The Buckeyes have some question marks after a shocking Round of 64 loss to Oral Roberts in last year’s NCAA Tournament. This game will also serve as a Joey Brunk reunion, as Brunk returns to Bloomington after two seasons at Indiana.
Jan. 20 – vs. Purdue
The first IU/Purdue rivalry game of the Mike Woodson era takes place on a Thursday at Assembly Hall. Indiana has dropped nine straight in the series, and 12 of 13. The head-to-head record between the teams since 1949: Indiana 66, Purdue 66.
Feb. 5 – vs. Illinois
This game wraps up a very tough five-game stretch for Indiana where they take on many of the projected Big Ten powerhouses for the upcoming season. However, the Hoosiers will have a chance to rely on their home crowd, with four of those five games happening in Bloomington. The last three games between Indiana and Illinois were hotly contested, with the Illini coming out on top in all three. This matchup also comes after IU’s longest rest of the season, a full week after the Jan. 29 contest at Maryland.
Feb. 8 – at Northwestern
Miller Kopp’s return to Evanston will be a nice moment for the junior transfer, who played in 87 games, starting 74, over three years at Northwestern. This will also act as a major trap game for this Indiana team, between contests vs. Illinois and at Michigan State, and IU may have to lean on the Chicago-area faithful who make the trip to Welsh-Ryan to pull out the win.
Feb. 24 – vs. Maryland
This wraps up the second rough stretch in the schedule for IU, a four-game away-home-away-home sequence that concludes with a trip to College Park to take on a Maryland squad that has Final Four aspirations. IU has dropped four of its last six to the Terps.
March 2 – vs. Rutgers
Senior Day for Indiana could potentially have massive Big Ten and NCAA Tournament implications. We call it “Senior Day,” but in what will likely be his final home game as a Hoosier, can sophomore Trayce Jackson-Davis guide IU to a big win?
March 5 – at Purdue
The final game of the regular season, like last year, takes place at Mackey Arena, which has been a house of horrors for IU. The Hoosiers have dropped their last six there, by an average of 12.8 PPG.
Featured Photo: Rocky Widner/Getty Images