The details of the 2021-22 men’s basketball season are coming out. First, we got notice that the CDC is advising fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks indoors except in large crowds. That means we need more vaccinations so we can have a fully armed and operational Mackey Arena in 2021-22, so get your vaccinations, people! Second, we now know the Big Ten opponents for 2021-22:
Schedule news has been delivered.— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) May 13, 2021
Purdue is a consensus top 10 and maybe even top 5 team entering 2021-22, and the expectation is to contend for our 25th Big Ten championship. Purdue gets some decent favors here, too. Only playing Ohio State and Maryland once each, and at home, is nice. Just one game against Michigan State, even if it is in East Lansing, is not bad. Michigan, Illinois, and Rutgers should be pretty tough as home-and-home games, especially since Michigan was the only team to beat us in Mackey last year and Rutgers has now won three straight over Purdue. Purdue will also have to wait to welcome back former assistant Micah Shrewsberry, as we must go to the Mausoleum for our only game with Penn State.
And, of course, there is Minnesota since we only play the Gophers in The Barn. It will undoubtedly be in late February with a Gopher team clinging to NCAA hopes and Purdue leading the Big Ten. In addition to getting your vaccines please contact your local shaman, medicine man, or witch doctor to ward off the evil of that game.
As for the non-conference, here is what we know of those 11 games. Purdue will host Indiana State as previously announced. There is also Butler in the Crossroads Classic in Indy. Purdue will play two games in the Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic in Uncasville, Connecticut on November 20 and 21 with North Carolina, Tennessee, and Villanova, giving us two excellent non-conference games. There will be two more “campus site” games in this event against mid- to low-majors.
Purdue is also due a home game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge after playing at Miami last year. If you’re looking for ACC teams that were home last year as possible opponents Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Duke, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and Virginia were all either at home or scheduled to be at home. Since ESPN likes to go for high profile matchups in terms of rankings I could see Duke or Florida State coming to Mackey. Purdue has played at Florida State twice in the event and Virginia just came two seasons ago.
Purdue also has one game left in its commitment to Gavitt Games with the Big East, but it is a home game and it seems unlikely Purdue would be at home for both the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and the Gavitt Games, so that could be punted to 2022-23.
May the drive to 25 begin.