Illini’s conference-only schedule released

Sophomore+Luke+Luffman+works+to+push+the+arm+of+his+opponent+away+during+the+meet+against+Purdue+on+Feb.+16.

Ryan Ash

Sophomore Luke Luffman works to push the arm of his opponent away during the meet against Purdue on Feb. 16.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

After months of COVID-19 affecting the season, wrestling will be back in Huff Hall this winter as the Illini look to build off of its 10-4 record last season with a conference only slate spanning from early January to late February. 

The Illini open up the season on Jan. 10 in Bloomington, Indiana, to take on the Hoosiers, who the Illini defeated 32-3 last season. 

On Jan. 17 the Illini will return to Champaign for its home-opening two-team meet against the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers. 

Ohio State figures to be a tough challenge, who was rated as the No. 7 team in the nation earlier this year. The Buckeyes easily defeated the Illini last season in Columbus 28-6. As for the Badgers, the Illini will match up against them for the first time since February 2019. 

The Illini then have a five-day rest before hosting the Purdue Boilermakers for the second year in a row, who knocked off Illini 18-14 last season, on Jan. 22.

On Jan. 31, the Illini welcome both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, which could be the challenging part of the schedule. The two programs are preseason ranked No.1 and No.2, respectively.

On Feb. 5, the Illini head up north to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers in their first meeting in two seasons. 

The Illini return back to the state on Feb. 7 to Evanston, Illinois, meeting with in-state rival Northwestern. 

Finally, the Illini finish up the regular season on Feb. 21, hosting the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are ranked No. 5 to start the season. 

The Big Ten championship will take place March 6-7 with Penn State hosting while the NCAA tournament goes March 19-21 in St. Louis, Missouri. 

 

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