Schedule release: Illini facing early Big Ten tests

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Illinois will play only one Big Ten game prior to the new year — at Rutgers on Dec. 2 — as the conference released its men's basketball schedule today.

The visit to New Jersey comes three days before the Illini take part in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, where Illinois plays Florida Atlantic.

Brad Underwood's team resumes Big Ten play with a home game against Northwestern on Jan. 2. After that, the schedule becomes difficult in a hurry with consecutive games against Purdue, Michigan State and Maryland.

Click here for the schedule