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.

AMELIA RAYNO