The Big Ten announced opponents for the 2022-23 conference portion of the men’s basketball season on Thursday.
Penn State learned where it will take trips, who it will only host, and what teams they’ll face in home-and-homes this upcoming season. Specific dates and times will be released at a later time.
First, let’s take a look at the Big Ten rivals who will only be visiting the BJC and, oh boy, these are some good ones: Iowa, Michigan State, and Indiana - three teams who will figure prominently in the conference race, will only be home games for the Nittany Lions.
The obvious bright side from a Penn State perspective is that they’ll avoid a return trip to three places where they struggle. Since joining the Big Ten in 1992-93, Penn State has a grand total of nine combined wins at Assembly Hall, Breslin Center and Carver Hawkeye Arena. Similarly, only facing three near-surefire NCAA Tournament teams is a plus as the Lions look to string together wins in Micah Shrewsberry’s second season.
The road-only games are manageable with trips to Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State. Last year, Penn State swept the season series against the Wildcats, won two against Minnesota over the course of the year, and knocked off Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament. It would have been nice to see Minnesota and Northwestern, two teams who lost at the BJC last year, make the trip to Happy Valley.
If you’ve been following closely along, that means that Illinois, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, and Purdue will face Penn State twice in scheduled Big Ten play.
All that can be said is that Penn State will once again be facing a string of good opponents as the Big Ten figures to be strong again in December, January and February.