STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team has finalized dates for its 2017-18 non-conference schedule as announced by head coach Geno Auriemma on September 5. The team will play 13 games against non-league opponents this season, including seven games against teams that advanced to the 2016 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal.
UConn will open the 2017-18 season on Sunday, November 12 with a matchup against Stanford as part of the Countdown to Columbus event at Nationwide Arena, which is the site of the 2018 Final Four. The day will also feature a contest between Louisville and Ohio State. The Cardinal finished the 2016-17 season with a 32-6 record and finished tied for second in the Pac 12 with a 15-3 mark. Stanford advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked 6/4 nationally.
This year’s home opener will feature a matchup against Cal on Friday, November 17, which finished the 2016-17 season with a 20-14 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Maryland, which rounds out a challenging opening weekend at home for UConn on Sunday, November 19, finished last year ranked No. 4/8 and won the Big 10 regular season and tournament championships en route to completing the season with a 32-3 record. UConn is 6-0 all-time against Maryland and looked to be on a 2017 NCAA Tournament collision course with third-seeded Maryland before the Terps bowed out to seventh-seeded Oregon in the NCAA Regional Semifinal.
Next up for UConn is an early-season west coast swing, which opens with a matchup at UCLA on Tuesday, November 21. The Bruins finished last season with a 25-9 overall record and posted a 13-5 mark in the Pac 12. UCLA finished the year ranked 15/13 nationally and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal before being eliminated by the Huskies in Bridgeport.
The Huskies will remain on the road over the Thanksgiving holiday and will square-off against Michigan State on Saturday, November 25 in Eugene, Ore. as part of the NIKE/PK 80 doubleheader at Matthew Knight Arena on the campus of the University of Oregon. The event is being held in honor of NIKE founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. The Spartans concluded 2016-17 with a 21-12 record and earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to Arizona State in the first round.
The west coast swing is capped with a homecoming game for Gabby Williams against the University of Nevada on Tuesday, November 28. Williams is from Sparks, Nev., which is a 10-minute drive from campus. The Wolfpack finished last season with an 11-19 overall record and were 5-13 in Mountain West Conference action.
The annual contest against Notre Dame, scheduled for Sunday, December 3, is one of the most anticipated of the regular season but the Huskies have won 35 of the 46 games in the series and have won six-consecutive showdowns against the Irish. Notre Dame finished the 2016-17 season ranked No. 2/5 nationally with a 33-4 overall record. ND won the ACC regular season and tournament championships before advancing to the regional final of the NCAA Tournament.
UConn will square-off against another former Big East rival on Friday, December 8 in Chicago. DePaul finished the 2016-17 season with a 27-8 overall record and shared the conference regular season crown with a 16-2 mark in the league. The Blue Demons finished the season ranked No. 19/18 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Huskies will then return to the Nutmeg State for a matchup against Oklahoma on Tuesday, December 19 in the Naismith Hall of Fame Women’s Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sooners were 23-10, 13-5 last season, finishing the year ranked No. 23/21 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. UConn and OU have played 10 times since 1999, with the Huskies coming out on top on each occasion.
Next up for the Huskies is a homecoming game for Hamilton, Ontario native Kia Nurse vs. Duquesne in Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Center, which was formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens. The Dukes, who UConn defeated in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, finished the 2016-17 season with an 18-16 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Atlantic 10.
Connecticut will square-off against Texas in Austin on Monday, January 15, which marks the first time UConn has played on Martin Luther King Day since 2013. The Longhorns finished the year ranked 14th nationally and advanced to the regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. UT was 25-9, 15-3 during the 2016-17 campaign.
The penultimate game of the non-conference season is against defending national champion South Carolina on Thursday, February 1 in Columbia, S.C. The Huskies captured their 100th consecutive win against the Gamecocks on February 13 of last season and went on to extend that record streak to 111-straight victories. South Carolina won its first national championship in 2017 and finished the year 33-4 overall.
The final piece of the non-conference schedule is a Monday, February 12 matchup against Louisville. U of L, which finished last season ranked No. 12/13, and the Huskies have not met since the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championship Final that saw UConn improve its record against U of L to 16-1 all-time. Last season, Louisville finished the year with a 29-8 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinal. The series between these two squads has been played on plenty of big stages, including the 2009 and 2013 national championship games.
The new 16-game American schedule format features home-and-home contests against East Carolina, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, and USF. UConn will play at UCF and Cincinnati only and will play Houston and Memphis at home only.
The fourth annual American Athletic Conference Tournament will be held on March 3-6 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Unlisted game times and television information will be announced at a later date.
2017-18 Non-Conference Schedule Notes
- 13 total Games
- Four home games
- Five away games
- Four game at a neutral site
- 11 games against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams
- Seven games against teams that advanced to the 2017 NCAA regional semifinal
- Two games against teams that advanced to the 2017 NCAA regional final
- Seven games against teams rated in the top-17 of the final 2017 RPI
- 10 games against teams rated in the top-42 of the final 2017 RPI
- Six games against teams ranked in the top-15 of the final 2017 AP Poll
- Eight games against teams ranked in the top-25 of the final 2017 AP Poll
- Two games against teams ranked in the top-three of the final 2017 AP Poll
- Five games against teams that won either conference regular-season or tournament title
- Eight games televised nationally, including four on ESPN