Ohio State will play Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin only once, but will have to face two of them on the road as it tries to win its fourth Big Ten men’s basketball championship in five years.
The Big Ten released its 2013-14 conference schedule yesterday, and it has the Buckeyes playing two of their first three games and two of their last three on the road.
They open Big Ten play Dec. 31 at Purdue, the fourth time in five years they have played their conference opener on the road on New Year’s Eve. A week later, they play at Michigan State, expected to be the league favorite and a top-three team nationally in preseason.
The Buckeyes play defending Big Ten champion Indiana and Michigan State back-to-back to finish the regular season but will have a week between the games, each of which will be played on a Sunday.
Besides Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, Ohio State also will play Northwestern only once.
The Jan. 20 game at Nebraska will be played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a Monday. A Big Ten official said the conference is considering scheduling a game each year on the holiday in the future.
That and other conference games not broadcast by CBS or ESPN are expected to be carried by the Big Ten Network, which will announce its schedule later. Most of Ohio State’s nonconference games also are expected to be carried by BTN.