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Northwestern basketball to face Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin as mirror opponents in 2017-18 Big Ten season

It’s a tough road for the Wildcats.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Gonzaga vs Northwestern Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern will be playing two games against Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, and Wisconsin in the 2017-18 Big Ten basketball season, Jon Rothstein of Fansided reported today.

This is a relatively tough slate of Big Ten opponents for the Wildcats. Although Northwestern avoids playing Michigan State and Purdue twice, it will have to play some tough opponents on the road this year. Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin all made the NCAA Tournament. Northwestern had home losses to Maryland and Minnesota last year as well.

Northwestern will likely need to have a strong Big Ten season to compensate for a rather weak non-conference schedule. This slate of opponents means that Chris Collins’ veteran team will have plenty of opportunities for big wins, but could also have a tough time getting the required number of wins for NCAA Tournament consideration. In addition, Northwestern’s home games will of course be played in Allstate Arena this season.