The Big Ten Conference basketball schedule has now been officially released, giving teams an early look at their conference schedule. While there should be no surprises within the schedule itself, it's interesting to see when you will play every team and to figure out which stretch of the season will be toughest.
With a 12-team conference and 18-game league schedule, there are four opponents which each team only plays once, while they face off with the remaining seven teams twice. The schedule is exactly the same as last year, except you host the teams that you only played on the road last year and visit the teams that you only played at home.
For example, Michigan State lost 42-41 at Illinois in 2012 but did not play Illinois in East Lansing. This year, the two teams will only meet at Michigan State and not in Champaign. Because of this uneven scheduling, some teams make out better than others.
In college basketball, one game can make or break a season, so I believe that the scheduling issue is bigger than it appears. While nothing can be done to change it, except switching the teams that you only play once every two years, it's interesting to see who is helped by the scheduling and who is hurt by it. I will highlight which four teams each squad will only play once as the basis for these power rankings.