Some of those teams include Missouri, Oregon and UNLV. All three could compete in their conferences this season, but all three will be losing some key players. The same thing can be said about the Fighting Illini.
Other than those three matchups, Illinois’ out-of-conference schedule is pretty manageable. That is good when it comes to wins and losses, but not when it comes to its resume.
If Illinois once again finishes with an 8-10 record in the Big Ten, it will more than likely miss out on the NCAA tournament. However, that is just speculation and who knows who will make the dance at this point.
Illinois could always knock off some good teams in the Big Ten, which would boost its resume.
Out of the three teams listed above, I think UNLV will be the easiest opponent, but it is important to note that the game will be played on the road for the Fighting Illini.
Although the team could lack some big time wins, it was a smart move to go with an easier non-conference schedule because who even knows if Illinois will be good enough to make the Big Dance. It loses its two leading scorers and will look a lot different in the 2013-14 season.
Whether the case, Illinois will have a couple of tough games in its non-conference schedule.