A few weeks ago, word leaked about the first buy game of the Mike Woodson era. Now, we know the next one.
According to a report from The D1 Docket, IU will bring Northern Kentucky to Bloomington for a pre-Christmas tuneup on Wednesday, Dec. 22. WDRB’s Rick Bozich later confirmed the report. For the Hoosiers, it’s the second non-conference contract to be made public—CBS Sports analyst Jon Rothstein reported last month that Indiana will host Merrimack next season, though the date for that game is not yet known.
Coached by Darrin Horn, the Norse went 14-11 last season and finished at No. 206 in the KenPom rankings and No. 212 in the BartTorvik.com rankings. The latter site forecasts NKU as the No. 141 team nationally entering the 2021-22 season.
Woodson told reporters late last month that he planned to dedicate time during the first half of June toward putting together his first non-conference schedule and figuring out the best types of games to line up for next season’s team.
So far, he seems to be sticking to his plan.
“My thing is I like to get a team in position first before we start chasing the big boys,” Woodson said. “I mean, I’m not afraid of competition. I want a team that’s competitive, and if we can get back to play the Kentuckys and the Kansases and teams of that nature before we get on the Big Ten, I’m open for that.”
Other than Merrimack and Northern Kentucky, the only other non-conference game lined up right now is the Crossroads Classic contest against Notre Dame. IU will probably host its ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup this season, and it could also receive a date in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
IU’s Big Ten matchups look like this:
- Home & Away: Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
- Home Only: Illinois, Michigan, Rutgers
- Away Only: Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern