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Rutgers' Big Ten men's basketball schedule released

The Rutgers men's basketball team is set to begin Big Ten conference play on Dec. 14. – Photo by The Daily Targum

The Rutgers men’s basketball team has officially received its Big Ten schedule for the 2020-21 season. With a 20-game conference schedule, the Scarlet Knights will begin conference play on Dec. 14 at Maryland. 

Head basketball coach Steve Pikiell expects Rutgers to start its season with a non-conference game on Nov. 25. The University will reveal the non-conference schedule at a later date.

The Knights will hold their first home game on Dec. 20 when Illinois comes to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). The current schedule allows for Rutgers to play five non-conference games plus a two-game, multi-team event on top of their 20-game conference schedule.

The Knights have one non-conference game set up with Syracuse on Dec. 8, as part of the 22nd annual Big Ten/Atlantic Coast Conference Challenge. Rutgers is also confirmed to be hosting Fairleigh-Dickinson on Nov. 27 and Rider on Nov. 28, as part of the New Jersey Hoop Group Classic. 

The annual meeting with state rival Seton Hall is up in the air as the Pirates have almost completely filled their non-conference spots. Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said a meeting during a bye week for both teams in January or February in a neutral location could be a possible solution, according to NJ Advance Media.

Knights senior guard Geo Baker said the team is simply focused on “us.”

“There’s been enough talk about that game," said Baker, according to NJ Advance Media. "This is my fourth year here, I love it, I would love to play that game, but at the end of the day, if it’s not on the schedule, that’s alright with us. We’re not worried about them, we’re worried about our own team.”

The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to be played March 10-14 at the United Center in Chicago. Teams are still awaiting TV network information and start times. In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all Big Ten men’s basketball teams will follow the same medical protocols that are currently in place for football teams.

These protocols include daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making practice/competition decisions.

With a recruiting class that Pikiell referred to as “by far our best recruiting class,” according to NJ Advance Media, and the return of seven of its top players, Rutgers has been ranked 24th in the preseason rankings by the Associated Press.

Here is the complete Big Ten schedule of the Knights:

Monday, Dec. 14: Rutgers at Maryland

Sunday, Dec. 20: Illinois at Rutgers

Wednesday, Dec. 23: Rutgers at Ohio State

Tuesday, Dec. 29: Purdue at Rutgers

Saturday, Jan. 2: Iowa at Rutgers

Tuesday, Jan. 5: Rutgers at Michigan State

Saturday, Jan. 9: Ohio State at Rutgers

Tuesday, Jan. 12: Rutgers at Penn State

Friday, Jan. 15: Wisconsin at Rutgers

Sunday, Jan. 24: Rutgers at Indiana

Thursday, Jan. 28: Michigan State at Rutgers

Sunday, Jan. 31: Rutgers at Northwestern

Thursday, Feb. 4: Minnesota at Rutgers

Wednesday, Feb. 10: Rutgers at Iowa

Saturday, Feb. 13: Northwestern at Rutgers

Thursday, Feb. 18: Rutgers at Michigan

Sunday, Feb. 21: Maryland at Rutgers

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Indiana at Rutgers

Sunday, Feb. 28: Rutgers at Nebraska

Saturday, March 6, or Sunday, March 7: Rutgers at Minnesota

For updates on the Rutgers men's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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