Ohio State will open the Big Ten men's basketball season at home against Minnesota on Dec. 2 and close conference play at home March 10 against Wisconsin.

The full league schedule, which was released Monday afternoon, has Big Ten teams playing two early-season conference games before picking up league play in January.

For a second straight year, the Big Ten will get conference play underway in December. Last year, the conference made the move in an effort to compress the league’s schedule to hold the Big Ten tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York a week earlier than normal. This year, it’s because the league has made the move to 20 conference games.

For the Buckeyes, that means the opener against the Golden Gophers before playing Illinois three days later at the United Center in Chicago. That game against the Illini will mark Ohio State’s second game in Chicago this season and its second neutral-site Big Ten game in as many years. The Buckeyes will face UCLA at the United Center on Dec. 22 as part of the CBS Sports Classic. Last year, they played Minnesota at Madison Square Garden.

The Buckeyes will play no more than two consecutive road games and will not have any one-day preparation for games like all Big Ten teams did last season.

Here’s the 2018-19 schedule:

Nov. 1 – UNC Pembroke (exhibition)

7 – at Cincinnati

11 – Purdue Fort Wayne

15 – at Creighton (Gavitt Games)

18 – South Carolina State

20 – Samford

23 – Cleveland State

28 – Syracuse (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

Dec. 2 – Minnesota

5 – Illinois (at United Center, Chicago)

15 – Bucknell

18 – Youngstown State

22 – UCLA (at United Center, Chicago, CBS Sports Classic)

29 – High Point

Jan. 5 – Michigan State

9 – at Rutgers

12 – at Iowa

18 – Maryland

23 – Purdue

26 – at Nebraska

29 – at Michigan

Feb. 2 – Rutgers

7 – Penn State

10 – at Indiana

14 – Illinois

17 – at Michigan State

20 – Northwestern

23 – at Maryland

26 – Iowa

March 2 – at Purdue

6 – at Northwestern

10 Wisconsin

The Buckeyes return second-leading scorer C.J. Jackson, a senior point guard, but lost Big Ten player of the year Keita Bates-Diop to the NBA and key seniors Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich. In all, Ohio State must replace 56.9 percent of its scoring from Chris Holtmann’s first season, when the Buckeyes went 25-9 overall and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy