Lincoln - The Nebraska women's basketball team will welcome a loaded Big Ten Conference schedule, including six games against 2013 postseason qualifiers for its first season at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska announced its Big Ten home and road opponents on Wednesday, May 15, after the conference announced the new one-year grouping of single and double plays within Big Ten women's basketball.
Husker fans will get the chance to see 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Purdue, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State, along with 2013 WNIT qualifiers Illinois and Minnesota in the first Big Ten home season at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Northwestern and Indiana also will visit the Huskers on their new home court in 2013-14.
Nebraska, which faced a schedule that was ranked No. 12 nationally in 2012-13, will play a total of nine home games against 2013 postseason teams, including six home games against foes that advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Fans can choose their seats right now for Season One at Pinnacle Bank Arena by visiting Huskers.com/arena or calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED.
The Huskers will face Big Ten tournament champion Purdue twice within conference play in 2013-14, along with home-and-road matchups with 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Michigan and Michigan State. All three teams advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The 2013-14 season will mark the first time the Huskers have faced those three schools twice during regular-season league play, although Nebraska has played Purdue twice in each of its first two seasons in the Big Ten.
Three of the first four meetings in history between Nebraska and Purdue have gone to overtime, covering six total overtimes in four games. The Huskers also have squared off against the Boilermakers in each of their first two Big Ten Tournament appearances, including a double-overtime battle in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament championship game.
In addition to the home games against Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan, the Huskers will face 2013 Big Ten regular-season champion Penn State for the third consecutive season on the Huskers' home court. Nebraska played its final game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center against the Lady Lions on March 3. NU faced Penn State twice in each of the past two seasons, but will take on PSU just once in 2013-14. Penn State also advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, following an NCAA Sweet 16 bid and another Big Ten regular-season crown in 2012.
Two more 2013 postseason qualifiers, Illinois and Minnesota, will visit Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Huskers swept a pair of games from Minnesota in 2012-13, before the Golden Gophers advanced to the Postseason WNIT. The Fighting Illini visited the Devaney Center on Jan. 17, 2013, before the Huskers ran off 10 consecutive Big Ten wins. Illinois, which advanced to the quarterfinals of the Postseason WNIT, will take on the Huskers twice in 2013-14.
Northwestern will round out Nebraska's list of home-and-road opponents in 2013-14, while Indiana will complete the Huskers' home Big Ten schedule. It marks the third straight season that the Huskers will face the Hoosiers just once in conference action.
In Nebraska's first two Big Ten campaigns, the Huskers faced Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State at home and on the road each season.
After facing Iowa six times and going a perfect 6-0 against the Hawkeyes in its first two Big Ten seasons, Nebraska is scheduled to face Iowa only once in 2013-14. The meeting will occur in Iowa City. The Huskers went 4-0 against Wisconsin in their first two Big Ten seasons, but will take on the Badgers just once in Madison. NU went 4-1 against Ohio State through its first two conference campaigns, but will see the Buckeyes only in Columbus, Ohio, in 2013-14.
Nebraska, which has produced a 22-10 Big Ten regular-season record in its first two conference campaigns, is coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids, including a trip to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16. The Huskers, who have advanced to at least the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in each of the past two seasons, are also 4-2 in conference tournament action.
The Huskers return four starters, including two-time All-American Jordan Hooper, from the 2012-13 squad that finished with a 25-9 overall record. Two-year starting forwards Emily Cady and Hailie Sample also return, along with starting guard Rachel Theriot. The 2012-13 Huskers finished No. 16 nationally in the RPI, No. 18 in the final USA Today/Coaches Top 25.
Nebraska has been ranked preseason No. 9 in an early, unofficial ranking by ESPN.com's Charlie Creme.