Indiana Daily Student

IU men's basketball 2014-15: a look ahead

The Big Ten Conference released its men’s basketball schedule for the 2014-15 season Thursday night, finalizing all but three of IU’s 31 fixtures for the upcoming season.

IU opens the conference season Dec. 31 when it travels to Nebraska and closes Big Ten play with a visit from Michigan State on March 7. Here’s a look at the most notable games on the Hoosiers’ schedule so far.

Dec. 2 vs. Pittsburgh

With IU slated to play the likes of Eastern Washington and Lamar in early-season play, the team’s first true test comes in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge when Pittsburgh comes to Bloomington. With at least four — and likely more — scheduled games before this matchup, IU Coach Tom Crean should have a good idea of how his team will perform heading into the meat of the 2014-15 season.

Dec. 9 vs. Louisville

In the first of two trips to ?Madison Square Garden this season — the team returns to MSG to play Georgetown on Dec. 27 — IU will take on one of the country’s annual powerhouse programs. While the Cardinals will almost certainly be heavy favorites in this contest, a Hoosier victory could signal big things to come this season.

Dec. 20 vs. Butler

The Hoosier state’s two best teams will square off in Indianapolis for the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time since Dec. 15, 2012, when the Bulldogs ended the then-No. 1 Hoosiers’ undefeated run. Though both programs are coming off unusually poor seasons in 2013-14, this matchup should determine in-state supremacy.

Jan. 22 vs. Maryland

IU welcomes the first of two Big Ten additions to Assembly Hall, with other conference newcomer Rutgers traveling to Bloomington the following week. The Hoosiers are 5-2 all-time against the Terrapins, though one of those losses came in the 2002 NCAA Championship game.

Feb. 8 vs. Michigan

The Hoosiers get their shot at the defending Big Ten champions deep in the heart of conference play. These two teams have brought the best out of each other in recent seasons, with their four matchups over the past two seasons decided by a total of just 24 points. If IU can stay in the Big Ten hunt until February, stakes should be high.

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