An in-season home tournament and 16 regular season home games highlight the 2013-14 Northern Illinois men's basketball schedule released on Tuesday. The Huskies will also play an 18-game Mid-American Conference slate for the first time since 2005-06 as the conference adds a pair of games to the league slate.
"We are excited about our schedule for this season," said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. "Anytime you can play your first five games at home that should be a positive thing. The other side of that is we only have one home game in December, so that should provide a real test for our team heading into conference play.
"The MAC has always been a very competitive conference and the addition of two more conference games should make the league even more competitive this season."
The Huskies will take to the court for the first time in 2013-14 on Saturday, Nov. 2, when they host Rockford College in an exhibition contest.
Northern Illinois will open the regular season with five home games, beginning on Friday, Nov. 8, when Nebraska Omaha visits the NIU Convocation Center.
A week after the regular season opener, the Huskies will host the NIU Invitational, a four-team round-robin tournament as James Madison, UW Milwaukee and San Jose State visit DeKalb. NIU will face James Madison on the first night of the tournament, Friday, Nov. 15. The Huskies will then meet San Jose State, who moves from the WAC to the Mountain West this season, the following night before wrapping up the tournament against UW Milwaukee.
After hosting St. Joseph's (Indiana) on Sunday, Nov. 24, the Huskies will play five of their next six on the road, beginning with a trip to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska at its new home, Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Dartmouth visits DeKalb on Thursday, Dec. 5, in NIU's final home game of the calendar year before the Huskies travel to UMass (Dec. 14), Loyola-Chicago (Dec. 18), UC Riverside (Dec. 22) and Iowa State (Dec. 31) to conclude the calendar year.
Bethune-Cookman comes to DeKalb on Friday, Jan. 3, in the final non-conference game of the season and the first game of the 2014 calendar year.
Conference play for the Huskies begins on Wednesday, Jan. 8, with a trip to Buffalo to face the Bulls and new head coach Bobby Hurley, the former Duke All-American. A trip to Bowling Green (Jan. 12) follows the date with Buffalo before NIU opens the home portion of its conference slate against Kent State (Jan. 15) and Ohio (Jan. 18). Last season, the Huskies snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Golden Flashes of Kent State with a thrilling 67-65 victory.
Three of the next four games will be on the road for the Huskies before a three-game homestand begins with a visit from Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Last season, NIU won on the road against the RedHawks for the first time since 1981. Western Michigan (Feb. 9) and Central Michigan (Feb. 12) also come to the NIU Convocation Center during the homestand.
Following a trip to Akron on Feb. 15, the Huskies will play their final six conference games against MAC West foes, beginning on Feb. 20, when Eastern Michigan visits DeKalb. NIU travels to the Great Lakes State for three of the next four, beginning at Central Michigan on Feb. 23. Toledo comes to DeKalb on Feb. 26, before the Huskies round out the Michigan swing at Eastern Michigan on March 1 and Western Michigan on March 4.
The regular season concludes at home against Ball State on Saturday, March 8. That contest could be moved to Friday, March 7, based upon television selection.
Again this season, the Mid-American Conference Tournament will begin on campus sites on Monday, March 10, before moving to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, March 12 through Saturday, March 15.
Season tickets for the 2013-14 basketball season will go on sale on Monday, Sept. 23. For more information call NIU Athletics at 815-753-PACK (7225).
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