Illinois basketball releases portion of non-conference schedule, will host multi-team event over Thanksgiving


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — More of the Illinois basketball schedule is becoming official, including a season opening trio of games in a multi-team event at State Farm Center. The Illini will welcome North Carolina A&T, Wright State and Ohio to town for a round robin tournament Nov. 25-27. Tip times are still yet to be released but the school announced all three days will feature an afternoon session.

Wednesday, Nov. 25
G1 – Illinois vs. North Carolina A&T
G 2 – Ohio vs. Wright State

Thursday, Nov. 26
G 3 – Illinois vs. Wright State
G 4 – North Carolina A&T vs. Ohio

Friday, Nov. 27
G 5 – Illinois vs. Ohio
G 6 – North Carolina A&T vs. Wright State

Wright State is coached by Scott Nagy, a Champaign native whose father, Dick, was a longtime Illinois basketball assistant coach under Lou Henson. Scott began his coaching career as an Illini graduate assistant and was part of the Flyin’ Illini run to the 1989 Final Four. Wright State redshirt sophomore Tim Finke is also from Champaign, playing his high school ball at Central. Wright State was 25-7 last season and won the Horizon League title with a 15-3 league record.

In addition, Illinois is also set to play Baylor in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 2. It will likely be a Top-10 showdown between the No. 8 Illini and 2nd-ranked Bears. An Illinois spokesperson could not confirm the location of the game but multiple reports have it being played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Baylor team website also has the location as Indy with a TBD opponent. The event is normally played every year at Madison Square Garden in New York City but had to be moved due to COVID-19.

Baylor is coming off a 26-4 campaign and second-place finish in the Big 12 at 15-3. Coach Scott Drew’s team ended the 2020 season ranked fifth in the AP poll.

The three home games and match-up against Baylor are in addition to road games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at No. 9 Duke (Dec. 8) and Braggin’ Right at Missouri (Dec. 12). More games are to come, with an additional non-conference game, as well as the full Big Ten slate, still yet to be announced.

The team also announced no fans will be allowed at home games this season. The Big Ten also has this rule for football games this season.

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