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Wisconsin men’s basketball: 2020-21 schedule finally released

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Wisconsin will open its season on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and the conference slate, Dec 21.

NCAA Basketball: Rider at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team announced its 2020-21 schedule on Wednesday afternoon, a mere week before their first game tips off.

Wisconsin, ranked No. 7 in both the AP and the Coaches polls ahead of the season, will open their campaign next Wedneday, November 25 against Eastern Illinois. Wisconsin will open their conference schedule on Dec. 21 when it hosts Nebraska.

Overall, Wisconsin will play 20 conference game this season, following a non-conference schedule that features in-state rivals Green Bay and Marquette, as well as Louisville, who the Badgers will face off against in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 9.

Wisconsin will play seven B1G teams twice, once at home and once on the road. Those teams are: Nebraska, Michigan, Penn State, Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern and Maryland.

Of the remaining six teams in the conference, Wisconsin will play each of them once, Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue at home and Rutgers, Purdue and Michigan State on the road.

When Wisconsin plays Michigan State, it will be one of four conference games taking place on Christmas Day.

“I’m happy to finally have a schedule put together and grateful to those who put a lot of time and effort into something none of us have ever navigated before,” head coach Greg Gard said. “That includes Marc VandeWettering from our staff, who has spent an immeasurable amount of energy on this puzzle.

“We have six non-conference games on the schedule right now, but we are still looking to add one additional home opponent in the month of December. Overall, with our non-conference schedule we tried to create the safest environment possible and having so many games at home allows us to have a little more control over some of the variables. As we all know, even this schedule could be fluid given the times we’re in. But today is confirmation that opening day is just a week away and I know our players will be excited to get on the floor and start playing games.”

To allow for maximum flexibility in the potential rescheduling of games, this year’s schedule is built with two sets of collapsible byes during the weeks of Jan. 18-21 and Jan. 25-28, and the weeks of Feb. 22-25 and March 1-5.

Following the completion of regular season, the B1G Conference Tournament will be played at the United Center in Chicago, March 10-14.