The goal for 2021-22 in regards to Purdue’s Men’s Basketball is very simple: A 25th Big Ten championship and deep run in March, hopefully to the Final Four. Anything less will feel like a disappointment. We do not know the precise path to the 25th title yet, but the non-conference portion is now set.
November 4 vs. Indianapolis (exhibition) - Yes, it is an exhibition, but for the first time in 20 months Purdue basketball fans will actually get to enter Mackey Arena and watch this team. It will be beautiful.
November 9 vs. Bellarmine - It is the first meeting between the two schools, but there is a connection as Donnie Hale ended up transferring there after a year in West Lafayette. They will make the short drive up I-65 fort a buy game. They are a former Division II power in their second transition year to Division I and they were 12-8 a season ago, second in the Atlantic Sun.
November 12 vs. Indiana State - The Trees will be under a new coach and were an opponent last season as Purdue defeated them 80-68 in Mackey. Purdue is now 30-4 all-time against them.
November 16 vs. Wright State - The Horizon League regular season champ a year ago, The Raiders are always a solid mid-major and threat to reach the NCAAs. They were 18-5 and a top 75 NET team before being upset in the league tournament. Despite being just over in Dayton, it is the first meeting with them.
November 20 vs. North Carolina in Hall of Fame Tip-Off, Uncasville, CT - The first major test of the season comes on a neutral floor. Purdue is 2-8 against them, hasn’t played them since the 1999 Maui Invitational, and hasn’t beaten them since 1974.
November 21 vs. Villanova or Tennessee in Hall of Fame Tip-Off, Uncasville, CT - It will be a rematch of Purdue’s Round of 32 or Sweet 16 game from 2019 sans Carsen Edwards. For that, the Volunteers and Wildcats are thankful. Purdue is 3-2 against Tennessee and 1-3 vs. Villanova
November 26 vs. Omaha - The Mavericks are another relative newcomer to Division I, having moved up in 2011-12. This will be the first meeting against them and they were 5-20 a year ago. This is probably the weakest opponent the schedule.
December xx vs. ACC OPPONENT - The one outlier yet. Purdue has a likely home game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge to be announced later.
December 12 vs. North Carolina State in Brooklyn, NY - A third neutral site game, Purdue faces the Wolfpack in the Hall of Fame Invitational at the Barclay’s Center. Purdue is 1-4 against NC State, but won the last meeting in the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
December 18 vs. Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse - The Crossroads Classic is around for at least one more year. Purdue holds a 39-20 edge over the Bulldogs all-time, but are just 1-4 against them in the Crossroads. Purdue did beat them in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
December 20 vs. Incarnate Word - Welcome home Carson Cunningham and Ryne Smith. Cunningham is the head coach at Incarnate Word with Smith as his assistant. Purdue won the only meeting by 35 in 2015, and has not played their bitter rival, Manifested Paragraph.
December 29 vs. Nicholls - They used to be Nicholls State, but they are plain Nicholls now. They were even decent last year at 18-7 and won the Southland regular season title at 14-2, but were blown out by Abilene Christian (who upset Texas in the NCAAs) in the conference tournament final. This denied them their first NCAA bid since 1998. Purdue has never played them.
There you go. 10 games, one more coming with the ACC/BIg Ten Challenge, and a very good setup for the conference slate. Purdue as five major conference foes with four on a neutral floor and one likely coming at home.