You won't hear it advertised anywhere like the ACC/Big Ten Challenge but the Horizon League/Big Ten Challenge is going to be happening at basketball arenas throughout the Midwest - and the country - during the non-conference schedule. There are 10 games between the two conferences in November and December.
The best part? The Horizon League - mostly thanks to Butler - might win a few. The Bulldogs play at least three Big Ten teams (@Northwestern, vs. Minnesota (N), vs. Ohio State). Horizon League schools are scheduled to appear on the Big Ten Network at least seven times.
The Horizon League schools without a Big Ten opponent are: Loyola-Chicago, Youngstown State and Wright State.
I don't have data for prior years, but 10 games between the two conferences seems like quite a bit. I wonder if both conferences are attempting to take advantage of the geographical proximity of the conferences in order to accommodate cheaper non-conference games that are still of high quality. Whatever the case, I'm all for this trend and I'll be tracking these games during in November and December.
All of the match-ups are after the break. Butler at Northwestern - 11/18
Valparaiso at Michigan State (Legends Classic) - 11/22
Butler vs. Minnesota (76 Classic - Anaheim, Calif.) - 11/26
Valparaiso at Purdue - 12/9
Wisconsin at Wisconsin-Green Bay - 12/9
Ohio State at Butler - 12/12
Detroit at Michigan - 12/13
Cleveland State at Ohio State - 12/22
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Wisconsin - 12/23
UIC at Wisconsin - 12/27