Wisconsin announces 2020-21 basketball schedule

The college basketball season will start at week from Wednesday and we finally have Wisconsin’s full schedule.

“I’m happy to finally have a schedule put together and grateful to those who put a lot of time and effort into something none of us have ever navigated before,” head coach Greg Gard stated in a school release. “That includes Marc VandeWettering from our staff, who has spent an immeasurable amount of energy on this puzzle.

“We have six non-conference games on the schedule right now, but we are still looking to add one additional home opponent in the month of December. Overall, with our non-conference schedule we tried to create the safest environment possible and having so many games at home allows us to have a little more control over some of the variables. As we all know, even this schedule could be fluid given the times we’re in. But today is confirmation that opening day is just a week away and I know our players will be excited to get on the floor and start playing games.”

The Badgers first chance to get on the floor next Wednesday will come against Eastern Illinois at 9 p.m. at the Kohl Center. It’s the first of, as Gard said, six non-conference games that includes a trip to Marquette (Dec. 4) and a visit from Louisville (Dec. 9) for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Big Ten play is scheduled to start Dec. 21 with Wisconsin hosting Nebraska. The Badgers will play on Christmas Day at Michigan State and on New Years Eve at home against Minnesota. The schedule is loaded with home games early, as Wisconsin will play four of its first six in Madison.

Among the highlights of the conference season include a trip to Illinois on Feb. 6 to face an Illini team picked to win the Big Ten by beat writers that cover the conference.

The Badgers will close the season with a tough five-game stretch that includes hosting Iowa and Illinois, and then finishing the year at Purdue and at the Hawkeyes.

Wisconsin will start the year ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25. It’s the second-highest starting position in school history and comes a season after the Badgers won their final eight games of the regular season to claim a share of the Big Ten title. They return all but one member of their rotation from that team and were picked to finish third in the conference.