Lincoln - The Nebraska women's basketball team will face five 2012 NCAA Tournament teams during its eight-game home conference schedule, including both the 2012 Big Ten regular-season and tournament champions, the Huskers announced on Friday in conjunction with the conference office.
The Huskers, who return four starters from a team that went 24-9 overall and 10-6 in their inaugural Big Ten season, will open Big Ten Conference play at home against Wisconsin on Wednesday, Jan. 2. NU then takes on defending Big Ten Tournament champion Purdue at the Devaney Center on Saturday, Jan. 5.
The two home games begin a 16-game Big Ten regular-season schedule that includes home matchups with 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Michigan State (Jan. 24), Ohio State (Feb. 14), Iowa (Feb. 24) and Penn State (March 3). The Huskers will also face 2012 WBI Tournament champ Minnesota (Feb. 3) and Illinois (Jan. 17) in their final season at the Devaney Center in 2012-13. No times or television information was included with the release of the Big Ten schedule.
Last season, Nebraska was among a Big Ten-record seven teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, while eight Big Ten teams overall advanced to the postseason. The Huskers were also among six Big Ten Conference schools to rank among the top-20 teams nationally in average home attendance in 2011-12, as NU drew nearly 4,600 fans per game.
For season ticket information on Nebraska women's basketball, visit Huskers.com or call 1-800-8-BIG-RED.
NU's two home games against Wisconsin and Purdue to tip off Big Ten play will be followed by a pair of road tests at Indiana (Jan. 10) and defending regular-season champion Penn State (Jan. 13). The Huskers return home to face Illinois (Jan. 17), before returning to road action at Minnesota (Jan. 20).
The Huskers come back to Lincoln to battle Michigan State (Jan. 24), before taking on NCAA Tournament qualifier Ohio State (Jan. 31) in Columbus, Ohio. Following a home game with Minnesota (Feb. 3) at the Devaney Center to conclude their season series with the Golden Gophers, the Huskers head to Evanston, Ill., to battle Northwestern (Feb. 7).
Following the road game with the Wildcats, NU begins a rugged six-game stretch that includes five games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams to close conference action. That challenging stint begins with a road game at Iowa (Feb. 11), before the Huskers return to the Devaney Center to close their season series with Ohio State (Feb. 14). NU returns to the road to face its third straight 2012 NCAA squad by taking on Michigan (Feb. 21) in Ann Arbor. The Huskers come back to the Devaney Center to face Iowa (Feb. 24) for the second time in two weeks to cap a stretch of four straight games against 2012 NCAA participants.
After a road test at Wisconsin (Feb. 28) completes NU's season series with the Badgers, the Huskers return home to face 2012 NCAA Sweet 16 participant Penn State on Senior Night (March 3) in their final regular-season home game ever at the Devaney Center.
The 16-game Big Ten regular season, which includes five home-and-away series (Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin) and six single-play opponents (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue) for the Huskers, will determine seeding in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament. The 12-team conference tournament will be held March 7-10 in Hoffman Estates, Ill., at the Sears Centre Arena.
Nebraska's Big Ten schedule will follow a 13-game non-conference schedule that includes nine home games at the Devaney Center. The Huskers open exhibition play against Pittsburg State (Oct. 29), before facing Nebraska-Kearney (Nov. 4). NU tips off the regular season against 2012 Atlantic-10 Conference runner-up Temple (Nov. 11).
Among NU's 29 regular-season contests, the Huskers will play seven games against 2012 conference regular-season or tournament champions, including Maryland (ACC, Nov. 28), Idaho State (Big Sky, Dec. 1), Purdue (Jan. 5) and Penn State (March 3) at the Devaney Center. Nebraska also hits the road against league champions at South Dakota State (Summit League, Nov. 18), Creighton (Missouri Valley, Dec. 5) and Penn State (Jan. 13).
Overall, Nebraska will play 12 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams on the year, while facing 2012 postseason tournament squads 18 times.
The Huskers return first-team All-Big Ten forward and honorable-mention All-American Jordan Hooper in 2012-13. The 6-2, junior from Alliance, Neb., ranked among the top 25 players in the nation last year in both scoring and rebounding at 18.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Hooper is joined by senior point guard Lindsey Moore, a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2011-12 who averaged 15.7 points and 5.1 assists per game. Emily Cady, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Seward, Neb., added a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by averaging 9.9 points and 6.5 boards per game.