Indiana women’s basketball is coming off a record-breaking season after advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history in the NCAA Tournament. The team is ranked No. 8 in the preseason AP Poll, marking the fourth-consecutive season in which Indiana is ranked going into the season.
The Hoosiers are joined on the preseason AP Poll by four other Big Ten teams. Three other teams on their schedule are also ranked in the top 25.
“Our non-conference schedule is once again daunting,” head coach Teri Moren said Oct. 8 at Big Ten Media Days. “But it’s only going to prepare us for Big Ten play.”
Indiana’s non-conference opponents include Stanford University and North Carolina State University, both of which are in the top five in the preseason AP Poll.
Indiana begins its regular season at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 against Butler University after an exhibition game on Nov. 5 against the University of Indianapolis. Indiana’s home opener will be against No. 13 Kentucky on Nov. 14.
Kentucky was the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season, falling to Iowa in the second round of play. Iowa also enters the 2021-22 season on the preseason AP Poll at No. 9.The Hoosiers and the Hawkeyes will face off two times this season on Jan. 23 and Feb. 20.
Another notable Big Ten opponent for Indiana comes in the form of NC State, which Indiana handed a loss in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. NC State entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed.
Entering the season, NC State is ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll and will travel to Bloomington on Dec. 2 to play Indiana in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Indiana will match up against its highest preseason-ranked opponent in No. 3 Stanford University when the team travels to the Bahamas for the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Classic. The two teams will meet at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 25.
Stanford beat the University of Arizona to win the NCAA Tournament title last season. Arizona beat Indiana in the Elite Eight.
The Hoosiers begin their all-Big Ten schedule Dec. 30 against Rutgers. They will play Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska and Maryland twice between Dec. 30 and Feb. 25, closing the season with an away game against Maryland in College Park.
Maryland is ranked No. 4 and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Indiana has lost its last 11 matchups against Maryland in their matchup history.
Two other Big Ten teams on Indiana’s schedule are ranked going into the season with No. 11 Michigan and No. 17 Ohio State. Moren said at Big Ten Media Days that with the athleticism present in the conference, women’s basketball in the conference has incredible talent, with multiple conference teams featuring players on a variety of preseason watchlists.
“I think you’re really missing out if you don’t either physically go watch and/or turn the Big Ten channel on,” she said. “It is physical, it is fast-paced, and we’re athletic.”
Moren and her team enter the season with the mindset of always facing the best of the best and using those experiences to prepare themselves for another NCAA Tournament run.
“They’re going to be great battles, night in and night out,” Moren said.