Dates Set for Illini MBB Non-Conference SeasonPosted:
CHAMPAIGN (Illini Athletics) -- Illinois' 2015-16 non-conference schedule is complete. The Illini will play at least five games during non-conference play against teams that participated in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, raising the total when factoring in Big Ten play to at least 15 games during the regular season against reigning NCAA Tournament opponents.
As previously announced, the Illini will play five games during the month of November at the Prairie Capital Convention Center (PC3) in Springfield, Illinois, due to the completion of the current phase of State Farm Center renovations.
The first trip to the PC3 is for an exhibition game against Illinois-Springfield on Nov. 8. The Illini tip off the regular season on Nov. 13 against North Florida and face North Dakota State on Nov. 15, two teams that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament.
The inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games, featuring eight match-ups between the Big Ten and Big East conferences, will be held from Nov. 17-20. The Fighting Illini travel to Providence for a Nov. 18 contest against the Friars, another reigning NCAA Tournament team. That game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.
Illinois' final two dates in Springfield are preliminary games for the Emerald Coast Classic, against Chattanooga on Nov. 21 followed by Chicago State on Nov. 23.
Illinois heads to Niceville, Fla. on Thanksgiving weekend for the final two games of the Emerald Coast Classic, facing UAB on Nov. 27 and either Iowa State or Virginia Tech on Nov. 28. CBS Sports Network will televise the semifinal round and championship game of the tournament. Illinois will take on the Blazers, who advanced to the NCAA Round of 32 last season, in semifinal action on Nov. 27 at 8:30 p.m. CT. The championship game is set for Nov. 28 at 6 p.m.
The highly anticipated Big Ten/ACC Challenge showdown with Notre Dame on Dec. 2 will mark the first game in renovated State Farm Center. The Illini will welcome the Irish - coming off an NCAA Elite Eight appearance - to Champaign for the first time since 1963 in a game that will be televised by the ESPN family of networks.
The Notre Dame tilt begins a three-game home stand, followed by Western Carolina on Dec. 5 and Yale on Dec. 9. Illinois then travels to Chicago for its annual game at the United Center, taking on UIC on Dec. 12. Following a week off for final exams, the Orange and Blue face South Dakota at home on Dec. 19.
Illinois' non-conference schedule concludes with the 35th edition of Bud Light Braggin' Rights in St. Louis versus Missouri. The Fighting Illini will put their two-year Braggin' Rights win streak on the line against the Tigers on Dec. 23 at Scottrade Center.
"We have a challenging non-conference schedule ahead of us this year," Illinois head coach John Groce said. "A number of our opponents are coming off NCAA Tournament seasons and are teams that we feel will be contenders in their respective leagues. So we will be tested against great competition, along with an unusual amount of November travel due to the renovations of our arena. The experiences gained during non-conference play should have us prepared for an extremely competitive Big Ten race."
Fighting Illini men's basketball season tickets are on sale now. Season tickets include all 13 games Illinois will play at State Farm Center, the previously mentioned four non-conference games highlighted by the Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up with Notre Dame, and nine Big Ten home contests against Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue, Ohio State, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Rutgers.
Tickets can be purchased online at FIGHTINGILLINI.com, by phone at 866-ILLINI-1 or in person at the temporary ticket office at 2141 South Neil Street in Champaign.
New this year is the introduction of multiple pricing options to fit any fan's budget. Prices start at just $210 for a limited number of banner-level season tickets. Other choices in the 200-level are upper baseline for $265, baseline for $325 and sideline for $415. To view exact locations, please refer to the State Farm Center seating map (PDF). Per-account ticket limits are no longer in effect for remaining ticket inventory, allowing fans to purchase in any quantity.
Season tickets located in the non-premium sections of the 100-level are sold out, but premium-seating options are still available within the Traditions and Legacy Clubs. For more information on premium seating options, visit StateFarmCenter.com or contact the Premium Seating office at 217-244-7722.
Fans requiring special assistance or accessible seating should call the Illinois Ticket Office at 866-ILLINI-1 to discuss available seating options.
Illinois' Big Ten schedule, along with remaining game times and television information, will be announced when available.
|SUNDAY||Nov. 8||Illinois-Springfield (Exh.)||Springfield, Ill.|
|FRIDAY||Nov. 13||North Florida||Springfield, Ill.|
|SUNDAY||Nov. 15||North Dakota State||Springfield, Ill.|
|WEDNESDAY||Nov. 18||@ Providence||Providence, R.I.||FS1|
|SATURDAY||Nov. 21||Chattanooga||Springfield, Ill.|
|MONDAY||Nov. 23||Chicago State||Springfield, Ill.|
|FRIDAY||Nov. 27||vs. UAB||Niceville, Fla.||8:30pm||CBSSN|
|SATURDAY||Nov. 28||vs. Iowa State/Virginia Tech||Niceville, Fla.||6/3:30pm||CBSSN/-|
|WEDNESDAY||Dec. 2||Notre Dame||Champaign, Ill.||ESPN/2/U|
|SATURDAY||Dec. 5||Western Carolina||Champaign, Ill.|
|WEDNESDAY||Dec. 9||Yale||Champaign, Ill.|
|SATURDAY||Dec. 12||vs. UIC||Chicago, Ill.|
|SATURDAY||Dec. 19||South Dakota||Champaign, Ill.|
|WEDNESDAY||Dec. 23||vs. Missouri||St. Louis, Mo.|