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Northwestern men’s basketball’s conference schedule is out

The opponents had already been announced, but now the dates are official.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Northwestern Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The opponents were already set, but now the dates official: Northwestern’s complete schedule for the 2018-2019 season is out.

The program announced the non-conference schedule last week, though many of those matchups were public knowledge.

Notably, Northwestern will open Big Ten play against Indiana in Bloomington, and Michigan will be NU’s first Big Ten opponent in the new Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats play Indiana and Michigan in early December, before finishing out its non-conference schedule and resuming conference play in early January.

The conference schedule will have a difficult first few games — Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State in the first three games — but is fairly balanced after that. NU plays Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota, Nebraska, Maryland and Penn State once each, and it plays Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers and Wisconsin twice.

The schedule isn’t quite as condensed this season as it was last season; the Big Ten Tournament returns to the United Center this year, so the season will end one week later than it did last season when the conference tournament took place in Madison Square Garden.

Northwestern officially begins its season November 8 against New Orleans.