The NIU men's basketball team released it's schedule in the new-look Mid-American Conference on Wednesday, with the conference slate seat to tip at home against Bowling Green on Jan. 2.
The conference is forgoing division play this season in favor of a single 12-team conference, but NIU will open conference play with seven of its first eight games against opponents what was the MAC East Division, the lone exception being a trip to Ball State on, Jan. 16.
The NIU women also announced its schedule on Wednesday, with the conference slate beginning at home Dec. 30 against Ohio.
The final game of the regular season comes at Central Michigan on March 6.
“We can’t wait to get back on the court and compete,” said head coach Lisa Carlsen. “Everyone knows how competitive the MAC is from top to bottom every night. with the top eight teams advancing to the conference tournament this season, each game is that much more important.”
After winning a share of the MAC West Division crown a season ago, eight letterwinners return for the Huskies men's team in 2020-21, including juniors Trendon Hankerson and Darius Beane along with sophomore Tyler Cochran. Hankerson led the MAC in three-point percentage a season ago, shooting 46.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Huskies close the regular season on March 8, as they host Ball State. The MAC Tournament takes on a new format this season with just the top eight teams qualifying, with all eight schools going directly to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
NIU’s 2020-21 MAC schedule is tentative and subject to change, information regarding non-conference games and ticket packages will be released at a later date.