FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – University of Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb announced the team’s 2013 schedule Monday, including a three-game series at 2012 NCAA Tournament super regional participant Baylor and 14 games against teams that reached last year’s NCAA Tournament, as the Orange and Blue look to make an NCAA Regional for the second time in the last three years. The Illini open the season Feb. 15 at Tennessee Tech and begin the home schedule – and a seven-game home-stand, the season’s longest – March 22 against Nebraska, the Huskers’ first trip to Champaign since 1905.
“I am extremely excited about the quality of our 2013 schedule,” Hartleb said. “We will be playing a number of teams that are annually at the top of their respective conferences and are regular participants in the NCAA tournament. This will give us a chance to put together a strong résumé with a competitive RPI figure and wins against quality opponents, which will help us as we look forward to postseason play. We will be challenged each and every weekend against a number of good teams that will present different styles of play.”
Illinois begins the 2013 slate with a three-game series at Tennessee Tech before traveling to the Keith LeClair Classic, hosted by East Carolina. The Illini will face a pair of 2012 NCAA Tournament teams at the event – the host Pirates and New Mexico State – along with Ohio and Boston College. The next weekend, Illinois travels to Arlington, Texas, to face 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier UT-Arlington and Houston Baptist twice each in the UTA/Hilton Invitational. The Illini return to Texas the following weekend for a three-game series against Baylor, which was one win from the College World Series in 2012.
The Orange and Blue travel to Carbondale, Ill., for their annual spring break trip the following weekend and will play four games against Southern Illinois at Abe Martin Field. Illinois then opens its home schedule the next weekend when it hosts Nebraska in the 2013 Big Ten opening series March 22-24. That also serves as the start of the season’s longest home-stand, as the Illini host Illinois State on March 26 and welcome Oakland March 29-31.
In what is becoming an annual spotlight game, Illinois will face 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Missouri at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., on April 2, before traveling to Indiana the following weekend. The Illini alternate home and away Big Ten series throughout the season, with home dates also against Purdue, Northwestern and Penn State, and three-game sets at Ohio State, Michigan State and Minnesota.
The Big Ten Tournament moves to Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, in 2013, and will run May 22-25. The NCAA Tournament begins with the regional round on campus sites May 31-June 2, the super regional round runs June 7-10, and the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., lasts from June 15-25.