BLOOMINGTON -– What do you have planned for New Year's Eve? The Indiana Hoosiers get to open Big Ten basketball play that night at Iowa.
That's no surprise. IU has played on New Year's Eve the previous three years, all at Assembly Hall with Ohio State twice and Michigan once.
The Big Ten released its schedule on Thursday and the Hoosiers quickly followed by releasing their nonconference games.
Yes, for the first time since 1968, Kentucky is not on the schedule. Officials couldn't agree on a location -- IU wanted to maintain the on-campus approach, UK wanted to play at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.
Still, North Carolina is on the schedule. The Tar Heels will make an Assembly Hall appearance on Nov. 27 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
IU also will play in the Legends Classic. That will feature two early games at Assembly Hall (against North Dakota State and Sam Houston State) before the Hoosiers go to Brooklyn for a pair of games. The first will be against Georgia on Nov. 19. The second will be either UCLA or Georgetown on Nov. 20.
The Hoosiers also will play Butler on Dec. 15 as part of the Crossroads Classic at Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
They will play 13 non-conference games and none will be a true road contest, although three (the final two Legends Classic games and the Crossroads Classic) will be on neutral courts.
Ten of the games will be played at Assembly Hall. Also coming to Bloomington is Ball State (Nov. 25) and opponents such as Bryant (the Nov. 9 season opener) Coppin State, Central Connecticut State and Florida Atlantic.
IU plays at Purdue on Jan. 30 and hosts the Boilers on Feb. 16.
The Hoosiers open Big Ten play with a pair of road games (Iowa and at Penn State on Jan. 7). They have a tough stretch to end the season by playing Purdue, Michigan State (Feb. 19), Ohio State (March 5) and Michigan (March 10) in the final three weeks before the conference tournament, which this season runs March 14-17 at Chicago's United Center. ESPN's GameDay crew will be in Bloomington on Feb. 2 for the Michigan game.
“The thing I am most excited about is that all of our conference home games are sold out,” coach Tom Crean said in a university release. “It will make for unbelievable environments, especially for GameDay.
“The Legends Classic is an excellent early season tourney that will allow us to prepare for three distinct styles in Georgia, Georgetown or UCLA.
“I like that we are able to have a game with an emerging in-state opponent like Ball State. Obviously our game with North Carolina will draw a lot of interest nationally. I think without question the Big Ten will be as good as any league in the country again this year.”