STORRS, Conn. --- A rematch against a 2016 Final Four participant in Madison Square Garden, a holiday tournament against some of the finest basketball programs in the country, and a home game against a Power Five opponent highlight the non-conference portion of the 2016-17 UConn men’s basketball schedule, announced Thursday by the school.
The Huskies will play 12 non-conference games, plus two exhibition games, combining with 18 games in the American Athletic Conference to produce a 30-game regular-season schedule, followed by the 2017 AAC Championship, set for the XL Center in Hartford. UConn is the defending AAC champion, having won the postseason tournament last season in Orlando.
The 2016-17 Huskies will make their public debut with two exhibition games against in-state Division II opponents, facing the University of New Haven on Sunday, Oct. 30 and Southern Connecticut State University, coached by former UConn star Scott Burrell, on Saturday, Nov. 5.
The regular season will begin on Friday, Nov. 11, as the Huskies play host to Wagner, which won 23 games last season, captured the Northeast Conference regular-season championship, and reached the second round of the NIT. On Monday, Nov. 14, UConn will entertain Northeastern, out of the Colonial Athletic Association, in a renewal of longtime New England rivalry.
The Huskies will then head for Maui, Hawaii, to participate in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, but will break up the long trip by stopping in Los Angeles to meet Loyola Marymount of the West Coast Conference on Thursday, Nov. 17.
UConn, which will be participating in the Maui Invitational for the fourth time, owns an 8-1 overall record in the tournament, having won the event in its each of its last two appearances, in 2005 and 2010. The 2016 Maui Invitational, which will be held at the Lahaina Civic Center on Nov. 21-23, features one of the finest fields of any in-season tournament this year. With the bracket yet to be announced, the Huskies will play three opponents from among 2016 NCAA Championship runner-up North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Georgetown and Chaminade.
Following its return home, UConn will play host to Boston University, a 19-win team last season, on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The Huskies will then travel to New York City and challenge Syracuse in Madison Square Garden on Monday, Dec. 5, a rematch of last season’s meeting at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Syracuse, out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, went on to record 23 wins and reach the Final Four last year. It will be the 93rd meeting between the former Big East Conference rivals.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, UConn will make its first trip to Columbus, Ohio, in 33 years to complete the home-and-home series against Ohio State. The Buckeyes had 21 victories last season and are expected to battle for the Big Ten title this year.
Following an eight-day break for exams, the Huskies will return home for two games.
On Sunday, Dec. 18, they will meet North Florida, last year’s regular-season champion of the Atlantic Sun Conference which won 22 games and was an NIT participant. On Friday, Dec. 23, UConn will take on Auburn from the Southeastern Conference, only the second-ever meeting between the schools and the first since a 95-81 UConn win at the Great Alaska Shootout in November, 1989. UConn is scheduled to travel to Alabama to return the game during the 2017-18 season.
American Athletic Conference play will begin during the last week of December, but UConn will have one final non-conference game to play, traveling to Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 14, to challenge Georgetown at the Verizon Center, the return game from Georgetown’s visit to Hartford last year.
The Huskies will play 18 AAC games, meeting each team twice, except Tulane (only at home) and Tulsa (only on the road).
The dates of conference games, as well as game times and home venues, will be announced in the coming weeks.
UCONN MEN’S BASKETBALL 2016-17 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Sun., Oct. 30 – New Haven (exhib.)
Sat., Nov. 5 – Southern Connecticut (exhib.)
Fri., Nov. 11 --- Wagner
Mon., Nov. 14 --- Northeastern
Thurs., Nov. 17 --- at Loyola Marymount
Mon., Nov. 21 – at Maui Invitational
Tues., Nov. 22 --- at Maui Invitational
Wed., Nov. 23 --- at Maui Invitational
Wed., Nov. 30 --- Boston University
Mon., Dec. 5 --- vs. Syracuse (Madison Square Garden)
Sat., Dec. 10 --- at Ohio State
Sun., Dec. 18 --- North Florida
Fri., Dec. 23 --- Auburn
Sat., Jan. 14 --- at Georgetown