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Tennessee schedules home and home with Illinois

Another big time non-conference series!

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 08 Illinois at Purdue Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Since Rick Barnes arrived in Knoxville, there’s not a team in America that he won’t play. He loves the competition, and clearly thinks his team gets a lot out of these early season matchups. Tennessee just finished up a series against Colorado and will make the return trip to Arizona this weekend.

Now, there’s another home and home trip on the horizon. Tennessee announced a new series with Illinois on Tuesday afternoon, with games set to happen in 2023 and 2024.

Illinois will come to Knoxville on December 9th next season, while Tennessee will head to Champagne on December 14th in 2024.

Tennessee leads the series all-time with Illinois, 2-1. They have not met since 1988.

This adds to Tennessee’s non-conference slate next year, which already includes a trip to Maui for the Maui Invitational. Gonzaga, Kansas, Marquette, Purdue, Syracuse, UCLA and Chaminade will join the Volunteers in the field.

Brad Underwood has brought back the Illinois program over the last two seasons after a tough start to his tenure. Currently, Illinois is ranked 18th in the AP poll sporting a 7-3 record to start the year.