Northestern Basketball Schedule: 2008-09

September 3rd, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern University today announced its 2008-09 men's basketball schedule with the Wildcats playing a total of 15 games against nine different teams that reached the postseason a year ago. The regular season tips off Sunday, Nov. 16 with NU hosting Central Arkansas at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the first of 17 home games on the slate.

For the second consecutive year, every one of the Wildcats' Big Ten contests will be televised nationally on either Big Ten Network, ESPN or ESPN2. Overall, at least four of Northwestern's games this season are scheduled to be on either one of the ESPN platforms.

The 'Cats have one exhibition game on their schedule as they host local foe Robert Morris College Nov. 6. Following the regular season opener against Central Arkansas, Northwestern faces Texas A&M-Corpus Christi three days later.

NU hits the road for the first time Nov. 22 when it travels to Providence, R.I., to square off against Brown. A Thanksgiving Eve date at Butler looms that next Wednesday as the Wildcats take on a Bulldogs squad that was ranked in the top 15 the majority of last season and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Northwestern then returns home for four consecutive games at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The 'Cats welcome UC Riverside Dec. 1 just two days prior to a contest against Florida State as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The challenging week of three games in six days concludes with a matchup against local rival DePaul Dec. 6. NU concludes the homestand by hosting UMKC Dec. 15.

A road trip to Stanford awaits the Wildcats Dec. 20. New head coach Johnny Dawkins inherits a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament a season ago. The pre-conference portion of the schedule concludes Dec. 23 when SMU travels to Evanston.

For the first time, Big Ten Conference play gets underway prior to the start of the new year. The 18-game slate begins Dec. 31 as Northwestern travels to Penn State for an 11 a.m. Central time contest. It is the only scheduled meeting between the Wildcats and the Nittany Lions this season.

The 'Cats play three of their next four games at home as they face Michigan State Jan. 3 in the conference home opener. Following a matchup at reigning Big Ten champion Wisconsin Jan. 7, NU has seven days off to prepare for a showdown against Purdue which finished second in the Big Ten last season.

A home game against Minnesota is on tap for Jan. 18 before the Wildcats conclude their season series with Michigan State in East Lansing that following Wednesday. Northwestern must make a return trip to the state of Michigan just three days later as it heads to Ann Arbor to challenge the Wolverines.

The 'Cats then tip off a stretch during which they'll play six of the next seven games on their home court. Contests against Indiana and Wisconsin precede a step outside Big Ten play when NU hosts Chicago State Feb. 4. The lone road contest over the stretch takes place Feb. 7 at Iowa before the team returns to Evanston for the team's lone regular season game against in-state rival Illinois.

Following home games against Michigan and Ohio State, the schedule turns in the opposite direction for Northwestern as it plays four of its final five regular season games on the road. Things get underway with a game at Minnesota Feb. 22. After a contest at Indiana, the Wildcats conclude their 2008-09 home season with a Senior Day showdown against Iowa Feb. 28.

NU heads to Purdue for a game that will be played March 3, 4 or 5 before concluding the regular season at Ohio State March 8.

The 2009 Big Ten Tournament is set for March 12-15 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The Big Ten Conference is expected to release game times and television designations for all non-conference games in the coming days. Please check for updates as they become available.