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Reaction: Northwestern's 2013-14 Big Ten Basketball Schedule

The Big Ten released its conference basketball schedule today, meaning the entire 2013-14 Northwestern basketball schedule is out. We already knew about the non-conference schedule, which includes games at Stanford and NC State, and match-ups with UCLA and Mizzou in the Las Vegas Invitational. Here's conference play:

Jan. 2 — vs. Wisconsin
Jan. 5 — at Michigan
Jan. 9 — at Iowa
Jan. 12 —  vs. Illinois
Jan. 15 — vs. Michigan State
Jan. 18  — at Indiana
Jan. 21 — vs. Purdue
Jan. 25 — vs. Iowa
Jan. 29 — at Wisconsin
Feb. 1 — at Minnesota
Feb. 8  — vs. Nebraska
Feb. 13 — at Michigan State
Feb. 16 — vs. Minnesota
Feb. 19 — at Ohio State
Feb. 22/23 — vs. Indiana
March 1 — at Nebraska
March 6 — vs. Penn State
March 8/9 — at Purdue

Now some quick reactions...

- The actual dates of the Indiana and Purdue games listed with slashes will be decided at a later date.

- There are a lot of really good teams on that schedule. But it's the Big Ten, which is expected to be one of the top two conferences in college basketball one again, so that isn't a shock. It's just kind of crazy to look at.

- The ticket office has to love the first three home games — a solid ticket-seller in Wisconsin (even though students won't be on campus), the always-in-high-demand Illinois game and a game against one of the top teams in the country in MSU. I wouldn't be surprised if the latter two are sellouts, regardless of how NU looks next year.

- The schedule seems top-heavy — though, as we said above, it's tough throughout. However, it's entirely possible NU won't be favored until Feb. 8 against Nebraska.

- Only five games are scheduled on the ESPN family of networks for now — one on ESPN2 and four on ESPNU. That's... not good. But win, and that changes things.