Wisconsin basketball’s Big Ten schedule was released earlier today, and while Big Ten teams always face the gauntlet in one way or another, not all schedules are created equal.
The question surrounding those individual schedules is simple: who do you play only once?
Every Big Ten team will have 20 scheduled conference games, and every team will face each other at least once. The differences lie in the four programs you only see once during the regular season. For Wisconsin, those teams are Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, and Northwestern. The Badgers will play a home and home against everyone else.
I’ll let you guess which of those four is not like the other. Overall, the Badgers should feel fortunate about their draw. Wisconsin opens and closes their year at home, beginning with a matchup against Indiana and closing with a pair of home games against Purdue and Nebraska.
Badger Basketball is coming… 🔜🏀
Big Ten play begins December 8!
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) September 8, 2021
In terms of the four teams they see once, Michigan and Illinois are widely considered to be top-four teams in the conference, if not higher than that. In addition, the Badgers get the Wolverines at home in their lone matchup of the year. Going on the road to Northwestern is certainly a favorable battle for the Badgers, as is a home game against an Iowa team that loses 2021 National Player of the Year Luka Garza.
In a year where Wisconsin will likely be on the bubble, this schedule should feel like a slight win for Greg Gard and company.