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The 1st buy game of the Woodson Era is on the books

Buy games are on their way back, starting with Merrimack

Southeast Missouri State v Indiana Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Now that its roster is (probably?) set, Indiana is addressing the next order of offseason business — scheduling.

Last week, we learned about IU’s Big Ten draws for the 2021-22 season. Now, we know about the first team the Hoosiers will pay to play at Assembly Hall next fall. It’s Merrimack.

That’s per CBS Sports analyst Jon Rothstein, who reported Wednesday that the Warriors will make the trip to Bloomington at some point in the coming season. A date for the matchup is not yet known.

Merrimack went 9-9 last season, finishing at No. 287 in the KenPom ratings and at No. 267 at BartTorvik.com. In the latter site’s 2021-22 projections, Merrimack is forecasted to open the season at No. 157 in the country — the highest-ranked program among those in the Northeast Conference. Warriors coach Joe Gallo earned NEC Coach of the Year honors for the 2019-20 season after leading the team to the regular season conference title in its first year of Division I competition. Merrimack finished 20-11 that season, winning at Northwestern in its second game of the campaign.

The only other Indiana non-conference game we know of at the moment is the Crossroads Classic matchup with Notre Dame. But it’s that time of year, and more scheduling news could always be right around the corner.