The Gophers won't have to wait long for a Big Ten test. The men's basketball team kicks off conference play at Ohio State on Dec. 30 and plays host to Michigan State on Jan. 2 for its Big Ten home opener.

The Big Ten portion of the schedule was released Thursday evening.

Home games also include Northwestern (Jan. 9), Indiana (Jan. 16), Illinois (Jan. 23), Purdue (Jan. 27), Michigan (Feb. 10), Maryland (Feb. 18), Rutgers (Feb. 23) and Wisconsin (March 2). The Badgers' trip to Williams Arena is the only meeting between the border rivals this season.

The Gophers finished 6-12, tied for 10th place in the Big Ten, last season. Coach Richard Pitino received a two-year contract extension and $400,000 raise Tuesday.

Some of the early conference highlight matchups include Michigan State at Iowa on Dec. 29 and Maryland at Wisconsin on Jan. 9. The Terrapins are expected to be ranked in the top five in preseason polls, and Wisconsin is coming off its national runner-up season.

Jason Gonzalez

2015-16 Big Ten schedule

Dec. 30 at Ohio State Jan. 30 at Indiana

Jan. 2 vs. Michigan St. Feb. 4 at N'western

Jan. 5 at Penn State Feb. 10 vs. Michigan

Jan. 9 vs. N'western Feb. 14 at Iowa

Jan. 12 at Nebraska Feb. 18 vs. Maryland

Jan. 16 vs. Indiana Feb. 23 vs. Rutgers

Jan. 20 at Michigan Feb. 28 at Illinois

Jan. 23 vs. Illinois March 2 vs. Wisconsin

Jan. 27 vs. Purdue March 5 at Rutgers