MADISON – An early season two-game road trip to the state of Indiana and back-to-back February road games at Ohio State and Michigan State highlight part of Wisconsin basketball’s 2016-17 Big Ten schedule, which was released Thursday by the Big Ten conference.
Opening the conference season at home vs. Rutgers on Dec.27, Wisconsin will have a home-and-home series with Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State. UW faces Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern and Penn State only at the Kohl Center this season. The Badgers will only face Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska and Purdue on the road.
Wisconsin will face Rutgers as part of the second-annual “Super Saturday – College Hoops & Hockey” doubleheader at Madison Square Garden in New York City, which is set for Jan. 28, 2017. The Wisconsin men’s hockey team will skate against Ohio State as part of the doubleheader event.
Times and television assignments will be revealed at a later date.
In addition to the conference schedule, Wisconsin released part of its nonconference schedule, which includes hosting 2016 Final Four participants Oklahoma and Syracuse in a five-day span at the Kohl Center. UW could also face national runner-up North Carolina, Elite Eight qualifier Oregon or UConn at the 2016 Maui Invitational.
Currently the Badgers will play a minimum of 11 games this season against teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament field, with seven of those coming at the Kohl Center and four coming on the road.
While in-state opponent Green Bay appears on the schedule, Milwaukee – which beat UW 68-67 at the Kohl Center last December – does not appear on the schedule for the first time since the 1991-92 season. UW has two open dates on its schedule (Nov.11 and Nov.27) but Milwaukee already has games scheduled.
Postseason play begins March 8-12 with the 2017 Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C., at the Verizon Center.
Wisconsin begins its 118th season of men’s basketball in 2016-17 and the first full season with Greg Gard as the head coach. Gard took over the reins for the final 23 games of the 2015-16 upon the Dec. 15, 2015, retirement of Bo Ryan. Under Gard, the Badgers rallied to finish the regular season in a tie for third place in the Big Ten standings and made a run to the Sweet 16 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.