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Iowa Hawkeyes' 2020-21 basketball schedule released, with Dec. 22 Big Ten start

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central
Iowa center Luka Garza (55) points to the bench after making a dunk during a NCAA Big Ten Conference men's basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Iowa will open its Big Ten Conference basketball season Dec. 22 against Purdue, then take a trip to Minnesota for a Christmas Day game three days later. That's a unique start to what's expected to be a unique Big Ten season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The preseason No. 5-ranked Hawkeyes will finish their 20-game conference schedule March 7 against Wisconsin, another co-favorite to win the league. The Big Ten released the full schedule Wednesday afternoon, and the University of Iowa followed by releasing its full 27-game schedule.

The Hawkeyes will open their season Nov. 25 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against North Carolina-Central. Their second game, Nov. 27 against Southern, will take place at 4 p.m., the same day as the football team's Noon home game against Nebraska.

As Iowa coach Fran McCaffery forecasted, there are 27 games overall in the regular season. That'll include marquee non-conference dates against preseason No. 16 North Carolina and No. 1 Gonzaga in December.

A date has not been set for Iowa's game vs. Iowa State, but the in-state rivals plan to play each other this season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, probably in the middle of the second week of December as usual.

The conference-only portion of Iowa's schedule includes home-and-home dates with Minnesota, Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes have single-plays against Purdue, Nebraska and Penn State at home; and Maryland, Illinois and Michigan on the road.

In its release, the UI said there would be no general-admission ticket sales for home games "at this time."

Iowa's 2020-21 men's basketball schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 25: vs. North Carolina-Central, 3 p.m. (BTN)

Friday, Nov. 27: vs. Southern, 4 p.m. (BTN)

TBD: vs. Western Illinois

Tuesday, Dec. 8: vs. North Carolina (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)

TBD: vs. Iowa State

Sunday, Dec. 13: vs. Northern Illinois

Saturday, Dec. 19: vs. Gonzaga in Sioux Falls, S.D., 11 a.m. (CBS)

Tuesday, Dec. 22: vs. Purdue

Friday, Dec. 25: at Minnesota

Tuesday, Dec. 29: vs. Northwestern

Saturday, Jan. 2: at Rutgers

Thursday, Jan. 7: at Maryland

Sunday, Jan. 10 or Monday, Jan. 11: vs. Minnesota

Thursday, Jan. 14: vs. Michigan State

Sunday, Jan. 17 or Monday, Jan. 18: at Northwestern

Thursday, Jan. 21: vs. Indiana

Sunday, Jan. 24: vs. Nebraska

Friday, Jan. 29: at Illinois

Thursday, Feb. 4: vs. Ohio State

Sunday, Feb. 7: at Indiana

Wednesday, Feb. 10: vs. Rutgers

Saturday, Feb. 13: at Michigan State

Thursday, Feb. 18: at Wisconsin

Sunday, Feb. 21: vs. Penn State

Sunday, Feb. 28: at Ohio State

Thursday, March 4: at Michigan

Sunday, March 7: vs. Wisconsin

Wed.-Sun, March 10-14: Big Ten Tournament in Chicago