Ohio State basketball schedule has Rutgers in Big Ten opener, Michigan State at season's end

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio State men's basketball team will open Big Ten play with a home game against Rutgers on Dec. 8 and close the season at Michigan State on senior day after a three-game homestand.

The full league schedule, which was announced Thursday on the Big Ten Network, will see the Buckeyes be one of eight teams to play just one league game in December before resuming league play at Northwestern on New Year’s Day. Ohio State’s first six Big Ten games will alternate between home and away with Rutgers, Purdue and Minnesota coming to Value City Arena trading off with games at Northwestern, Maryland and Rutgers.

Six of Ohio State’s first 10 league games are on the road, a stretch that ends with a Jan. 28 game at Indiana. Ohio State then returns home to host Wisconsin on Feb. 2 before going to Michigan on Feb. 5. All three games are the only meetings between the Buckeyes and that trio of opponents.

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Ohio State will host Michigan State on Feb. 12, which is also Super Bowl Sunday, before going to Iowa and Purdue on Feb. 16 and 19, respectively. That sets the Buckeyes up for a three-game homestand during which Penn State (Feb. 23), Illinois (Feb. 26) and Maryland (March 1) will visit Value City Arena. The game against the Terrapins will be senior day for Ohio State and lead into senior day with the Spartans.

Michigan State will now have hosted Ohio State for its senior day three times in the last eight years. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes 91-75 on March 5, 2016, and 80-69 on March 8, 2020. The latter game was the final one either team played before the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.

Ohio State has not won at the Breslin Center since William Buford’s jumper with one second remaining gave the Buckeyes a share of the Big Ten title and a 72-70 win on March 4, 2012. It is the only Big Ten arena where Chris Holtmann has not seen his team win a game, and the last time the Buckeyes played there he wasn't around to see the end of the game.

Of the 20 Big Ten games, 14 will be split evenly between Thursdays and Sundays.

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On the announcement show, Big Ten analyst Robbie Hummel ranked Ohio State No. 5 in his preseason poll behind Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue.

“Much like Illinois you’ve got to mold it and bring it together,” Hummel said. “I like Sean McNeil. I love Isaac Likekele. Both those guys come in, the best recruiting class in the Big Ten comes in and because of that I think Chris Holtmann, he can have Ohio State playing in that top five.”

The season starts with a home game against Robert Morris on Nov. 7. The Buckeyes will participate in the Maui Invitational, where they will open with San Diego State, and will play at Duke in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and against North Carolina in Madison Square Garden as part of the CBS Sports Classic.

Here is the full Ohio State schedule.

November1 – Chaminade (exhibition)7 – Robert Morris10 – Charleston Southern16 – Eastern Illinois21 – vs. San Diego State (Maui Invitational)22 – vs. Cincinnati or Arizona (Maui Invitational)23 – TBD (Maui Invitational)30 – at Duke (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

December3 – St. Francis8 – Rutgers17 – vs. North Carolina (CBS Sports Classic, Madison Square Garden)21 – Maine29 – Alabama A&M

January1 – at Northwestern5 – Purdue8 – at Maryland12 – Minnesota15 – at Rutgers18 – at Nebraska21 – Iowa24 – at Illinois28 – at Indiana

February2 – Wisconsin5 – at Michigan9 – Northwestern12 – Michigan State16 – at Iowa19 – at Purdue23 – Penn State26 – Illinois

March1 – Maryland (senior day)4 – at Michigan State

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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