UI Release - The University of Illinois announced Wednesday the 2013-14 men's basketball schedule. Illinois will play 18 games at State Farm Center (16 regular season and two exhibition), and 14 games against teams that participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
It's not too late for fans to secure tickets to watch the second edition of head coach John Groce's Illini squad. The new $199 banner-level season tickets have been moving fast, with less than 200 remaining in that area. Banner-level season tickets can be purchased online now at FightingIllini.com.
Student season tickets also are on sale now. UI students can purchase their season tickets exclusively at FightingIllini.com and must order by Sept. 20 to receive priority seating. Students interested in joining Orange Krush, meanwhile, should visit IlliniPride.com for details. Registration for Krush closes on Sept. 13.
Single-game tickets will go on sale on Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. at FightingIllini.com, by phone (866-ILLINI-1 or 217-333-3470) or in person at the Illinois ticket office at State Farm Center.
"We have a saying in our program that `every day matters' and that applies very much to this schedule, that every game matters," Illinois head coach John Groce said. "With five freshmen and nine new players in the program, as well as our returning players adapting to new roles, it is important that we embrace every game as its own challenge. We have some home games in November that lead into a number of road and neutral-site tests. The non-conference will prepare us for what will be another difficult Big Ten schedule. We look forward to the challenge of competing throughout the conference race."
The preseason gets underway with the annual Orange & Blue Scrimmage on Oct. 17 (7 p.m.), followed by a pair of exhibition games against McKendree on Oct. 24 (7 p.m.) and Northwood (Mich.) on Nov. 3 (5 p.m.).
Illinois tips off the regular season on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., hosting Alabama State. It is the first of five consecutive games at State Farm Center to open the season. The UI also welcomes Jacksonville State on Nov. 10 (5 p.m.), Valparaiso on Nov. 13 (6:30 p.m.) and in-state foes Bradley on Nov. 17 (5 p.m.) and Chicago State on Nov. 22 (8 p.m.) during that stretch.
Illinois' first road trip is at UNLV on Nov. 26 (9:45 p.m., CBS Sports Network), beginning a stretch of three out of four games away from Champaign. The Illini return to campus to face IPFW on Nov. 29 (7 p.m.) before traveling to Atlanta twice in less than a week, playing at Georgia Tech on Dec. 3 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (6:15 p.m, ESPN2) and then facing Auburn at Philips Arena on Dec. 8.
UI's final home non-conference game ¬- and lone appearance at State Farm Center in the month of December ¬- is against Dartmouth on Dec. 10 (7 p.m.). The Illini then wrap up the pre-conference calendar with three consecutive neutral-court matchups, facing Oregon in Portland on Dec. 14, taking on Missouri in the 33rd edition of the Bud Light Braggin' Rights in St. Louis on Dec. 21 and playing UIC at Chicago's United Center on Dec. 28 (1 p.m.).
Illinois opens Big Ten play at State Farm Center on Dec. 31, facing reigning conference champion Indiana (2 p.m., ESPN2) as part of the UI's first New Year's Eve home game since 1982. The Illini then host Penn State on Jan. 4 (1:15 p.m.).
Two road games follow with trips to Wisconsin on Jan. 8 (8 p.m.) and Northwestern on Jan. 12 (6:30 p.m.).
UI then returns to campus for home matchups with Purdue on Jan. 15 (8 p.m.) and Michigan State on Jan. 18 (7 p.m.).
The next week features a pair of road trips to Ohio State on Jan. 23 (6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2) and Indiana on Jan. 26 (2 p.m.).
Illinois opens the month of February with back-to-back home games, facing Iowa on Feb. 1 (6:30 p.m.) and Wisconsin on Feb. 4 (8 p.m.).
The pattern of two home games followed by two road games concludes with consecutive away contests at Penn State on Feb. 9 (3:15 p.m.) and at Nebraska on Feb. 12 (8 p.m.).
Illinois then alternates home and road dates over the final six games, beginning with a home game versus Ohio State on Feb. 15 (7 p.m.) then a visit to Minnesota on Feb. 19 (8 p.m.).
Nebraska visits Champaign on Feb. 26 (8 p.m.) before a trip to Michigan State on March 1 (1 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2).
Senior Night at State Farm Center is set for March 4 against Michigan (6 p.m., ESPN). The Illini conclude conference play at Iowa on either March 8 or March 9.
The Big Ten Tournament will be held March 13-16 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Remaining game times and television information, will be announced when available.
Copyright 2013 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.