Fans of the color orange will be thrilled to see the new matchup Illinois basketball has added to the schedule.

On Tuesday, the Illini announced a future home-and-home series against Tennessee. The two sides will play the first game in Knoxville during the 2023-24 season and the follow-up game will be in Champaign during the 2024-25 season.

The first matchup is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 in Knoxville. Illinois will host a game the following year on Saturday, Dec. 14 in Champaign.

“We are excited to schedule a marquee series with the University of Tennessee,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “These will be great early season tests for our program to compete against talented and successful Tennessee teams led by their tremendous coach in Rick Barnes.”

“My philosophy remains the same every year: to put together an extremely challenging non-conference schedule that will ultimately prepare us for the rigors of Big Ten play,” Underwood continued. “In addition to benefiting our team, it is great for college basketball – and especially the fans – to have high-level games like this played on college campuses.”

So far this season, Illinois is 7-3 while playing a nonconference schedule that includes matchups against UCLA, Virginia, Syracuse, Texas and Missouri. It looks like Underwood and the Illini will be sticking with that intense scheduling model moving forward.