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College Basketball Schedule, TV Times And More: Conference Play Begins For Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame And DePaul

The region's teams prepare for the start of conference play this week.

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As the new year approaches, the college basketball schedules get a little more serious for the region's teams, all of which are preparing to enter conference play this week. For Northwestern and DePaul, that means jumping right in to matchups against league heavyweights. Illinois has a tough road trip to Purdue, while Notre Dame welcomes a solid-but-struggling Pittsburgh team.

The full slate this week, with tip times and television information:

Illinois Fighting Illini
Dec. 27: vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (6:30 p.m. CT, Big Ten Network)
Dec. 31: at Purdue Boilermakers (3:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)

Northwestern Wildcats
Dec. 28: at Ohio St. Buckeyes (4:30 p.m. CT, Big Ten Network)
Jan. 1: vs. Penn St. Nittany Lions (6:00 p.m. CT, ESPNU)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Dec. 27: vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (7:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)

DePaul Blue Demons
Jan. 1: vs. Syracuse Orange (4:00 p.m. CT, Big East Network)

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Illinois blog Hail to the Orange, Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Notre Dame blog One Foot Down. For more from around college hoops, head over to SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.