The Gophers men’s basketball team will open its Big Ten schedule at Purdue on New Year’s Eve and continue with a difficult four-game stretch that includes its first conference game at Maryland and a trip to Michigan.
The schedule, released Thursday, also has the Gophers facing rival Wisconsin twice in a late-season, three-game stretch, with a road game at Michigan State in between.
In the nonconference schedule, Minnesota will indeed participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off, a November tournament that was reportedly in doubt after it secured only half of the expected 16 teams. The Gophers will play a pair of games at Madison Square Garden, where they cut down the nets after claiming the NIT title this spring, as well as host a first-round game at Williams Arena. When the tournament is finalized, a full schedule will be released.
Minnesota will play 12 nonconference games, beginning with a Nov. 14 matchup against Louisville — and coach Richard Pitino’s father, Rick Pitino — in Puerto Rico.
Women: No easy start
The women’s basketball team will open at home against Nebraska, which finished third in the Big Ten last season, before heading to face Purdue, a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament a year ago, in West Lafayette, Ind. The women will face Maryland and former Gophers coach Brenda Frese just once, on Jan. 11 in Minneapolis.
The Gophers open the season Nov. 14 at home against Southeastern Louisiana.