STORRS, Conn. --- The renewal of a storied rivalry, an appearance at Madison Square Garden, the start of one exciting home-and-home series, the end of another, and a holiday tournament against some of the nation's best programs highlight the 2015-16 UConn men's basketball non-conference schedule, announced today by the school.
The Huskies will play 13 non-conference games in 2015-16, as well as 18 games during the regular season in the American Athletic Conference, which will be announced at a later date. UConn will play eight non-conference games at home, as well as two exhibition games. The split of games between Gampel Pavilion in Storrs and the XL Center in Hartford will be announced when the full schedule is released.
Former longtime Big East Conference rival Georgetown is back on the Huskies' schedule after a three-year absence, while the Huskies return to Madison Square Garden for the first time since the 2014 NCAA East Regional championship to meet Maryland in the Jimmy V Classic. UConn will play host to Ohio State in the first of a home-and-home series, and will travel to Texas for the return game from last year. The Huskies, who participated in the first-ever Battle 4 Atlantis in 2011, go back to the Bahamas for the 2015 version of the tournament, which includes an impressive list of teams.
"We know the non-conference schedule we will face next season will be extremely challenging, but part of the reason our student-athletes come to UConn is to play top-level competition," UConn Coach Kevin Ollie said. "We think our non-conference schedule, combined with 18 tough league games, will best prepare us for postseason play."
UConn will start the 2015-16 season with an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 1, against Division II University of Tampa and will host another exhibition game on Saturday, Nov. 7, against Division II University of New Haven.
The Huskies then begin the regular season against two former Yankee Conference opponents, playing host to Maine on Friday, Nov. 13, and entertaining New Hampshire on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The schedule continues on Saturday, Nov. 21, when UConn will host Furman.
The Huskies will spend Thanksgiving week on Paradise Island, with games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25-27, in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The bracket is still to be announced, but the impressive field also includes Syracuse, Michigan, Gonzaga, Texas, Texas A&M, Charlotte and Washington.
In-state opponent Sacred Heart will open the December part of UConn's schedule on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The following week, UConn and Maryland will square off at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, the Huskies play host to Ohio State, the first meeting between the programs since the 1999 NCAA national semifinals in UConn's first national championship season.
Following first semester final exams, UConn will be home against first-time opponent UMass-Lowell on Sunday, Dec. 20, and will entertain Central Connecticut on Wednesday, Dec. 23. On Tuesday, Dec. 29, the Huskies travel to Austin to meet Texas.
UConn's final non-conference game of the regular season will be on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the XL Center against Georgetown. It will be the 65th meeting between the two teams, 58 of which were as Big East Conference colleagues. UConn and Georgetown still share the record of most Big East championships won, each owning seven.
Game times and venues will be announced after the American Athletic Conference releases its league schedule later this summer. The Huskies will play home-and-home series against UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, and Tulsa and one game each against East Carolina (only at home) and USF (only on the road).
UConn 2015-16 Non-Conference Schedule
(subject to change)
Sun., Nov. 1 Tampa (exhibition)
Sat., Nov. 7 New Haven (exhibition)
Fri., Nov. 13 Maine
Tues., Nov. 17 New Hampshire
Sat., Nov. 21 Furman
Wed., Nov. 25 at Battle 4 Atlantis
Thurs., Nov. 26 at Battle 4 Atlantis
Fri., Nov. 27 at Battle 4 Atlantis
Wed., Dec. 2 Sacred Heart
Tues., Dec. 8 vs. Maryland (MSG)
Sat., Dec. 12 Ohio State
Sun., Dec. 20 UMass-Lowell
Wed., Dec. 23 Central Connecticut
Tues., Dec. 29 at Texas
Sat., Jan. 23 Georgetown