Like the women’s team, the Eastern men’s basketball team had their schedule announced last week.
The season will start on Nov. 25, and we now know who the Panthers will be playing for the opener and the rest of the season.
Eastern will open the season on the road with a Big Ten rematch against Wisconsin.
The Panthers and Badgers played early on last season as well, with Eastern losing to Wisconsin 65-52.
Wisconsin enters the season at No. 7 on the AP Top 25 preseason poll after finishing last season at No. 17 in the poll.
The Panthers will stay in the state of Wisconsin for their next game two days later against Marquette.
These first two games are new to the schedule and will seeingly replace the game Eastern had scheduled against Kansas before the start of the season was pushed back.
Another major non-conference game that Eastern had on the schedule will remain, but be moved up at the third game of the season. That is when Eastern will play Butler in Indianapolis, making it the third-straight road game to open the season for the Panthers.
The first home game for the Panthers in the 2020-21 season will be Dec. 3 against Chicago State. Eastern beat the Cougars 98-34 last season, their largest margin of victory in any game.
Eastern will then play Green Bay and Evansville on the road before returning home to play Western Illinois in their last non-conference game.
Eastern played both Green Bay and Western Illinois last season, beating the Phoenix 93-80 and the Leathernecks 85-47.
The remainder of the schedule will consist of conference play, which will be expanded to 20 games this season from the usual 18.
Eastern will play Morehead State and Jacksonville State once each and play every other OVC team twice.
Last season, Eastern finished sixth in the OVC with a conference record of 9-9.
Also announced last week was that Eastern senior guards Josiah Wallace and Mack Smith were named the preseason All-OVC team.
Wallace was named first-team All-OVC last season and Smith was named second-team All-OVC.
Wallace and Smith finished last season first and second on the team in scoring.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]