UConn announced its men’s basketball non-conference schedule Thursday and, in addition to the Maui Invitational, the Huskies will face some interesting challenges.
There were no surprises in the press release. Most of the matchups had trickled out in the news over recent months. A stop in Los Angeles to play Loyola Marymount of the West Coast Conference on Nov. 17 has been finalized as a way to break up the long journey to Maui.
UConn will participate in the Maui Invitaional for the fourth time. The Huskies are 8-1 in the prestigious tournament and own championships from the event in 2005 an 2010. The bracket has not been announced but the field is one of the strongest in Maui history with North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Georgetown and Chaminade featured at the Lahaina Civic Center on Nov. 21-23.
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 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.
The Huskies will play 18 AAC games, meeting each team twice, except Tulane (only at home) and Tulsa (only on the road). Dates of conference games, as well as game times and home venues, will be announced in the coming weeks, according to UConn.
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