On Tuesday, the Indiana Hoosiers announced the 2018-19 men’s basketball schedule. The Hoosiers are stepping up their game, as they will plan to take on a tough non-conference schedule with three of these games being on the road. The season will open on November 1 with an exhibition game against Southern Indiana at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN.
The non-conference games that will likely pose the biggest challenges for the team will be, Duke at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, a home game against Louisville and in-state rival Butler at the Crossroads Classic. All three of these teams consistently are a threat to Indiana and with the games being close to one another, it will be a true test of the team’s talent. The last two seasons, Indiana has failed to escape victorious to the Blue Devils, but the departure of Grayson Allen from Duke could serve as the edge Indiana needs to win. In the state of Indiana basketball is a way of life, therefore there will be more than just a game on the line, but rather bragging rights.
The Big Ten season starts on December 1 against Northwestern and for the first time in history, the team will be playing 20 conference games in a season. In recent years, Indiana has managed to defeat Northwestern with an overall record of 3-1 over the last three seasons. Starting out Big Ten play with a victory will be a primary key in setting the tone early for the team this season, therefore the game is must win. Just because Northwestern has struggled against the Hoosiers, do not expect the game to be a cake-walk, as they will be kicking off their season with the Wooden Legacy tournament held in Fullerton, CA. Both the Hoosiers and Wildcats will be ready to represent their school, community and passion when the two face off early in December. Following the meeting with Northwestern, Indiana will hit the road to battle Penn State, before facing a devilish Louisville team back at home.
There are many reasons why the Hoosiers should be successful this season, however, the lingering question has been whether or not they will be. Over the past couple of seasons, Indiana has strengthened their regular season schedule in hopes that it would better prepare the team for Big Ten play, but sadly the expected result was never obtained. Head coach, Archie Miller, plans to change that this season. While he is not weakening the team’s schedule, he is planning on coming out with more energy and attacking right out of the gate. If the team is capable of setting the tone early in games, then there will not be many teams that can keep with the Cream and Crimson.
Indiana basketball is one of the most prominent college basketball franchises, therefore it has been a crushing blow to have back-to-back seasons without an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. There are no promises that the team will make it this year, but Miller is certainly setting that as the standard. Be sure to monitor Indiana this season, as they will likely be on the hunt for March Madness.