Wichita State to begin AAC journey in Hartford

Wichita State's Koch Arena, where UConn will play an AAC game on Feb. 10.

Wichita State’s Koch Arena, where UConn will play an AAC game on Feb. 10.

Wichita State is preparing for its first season in the American Athletic Conference and with the release of the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule Friday, the AAC made it clear the Shockers could quickly become the league’s predominant team.

That schedule will give Wichita State every opportunity to grab the spotlight as the Shockers open the AAC schedule at national powerhouse Connecticut on Dec. 30 and complete their first season March 4 at home against league power Cincinnati. Both games will be televised by CBS, a true departure from Wichita State’s days as a member of the Missouri Vally Conference. The Shockers are no strangers to television games, especially late in the season, but their visibility will be upgraded from ESPN3 and other minor sports channels.

It will be Wichita State’s first regular-season appearance on CBS since a Jan. 28, 1989 game at Brigham Young.

That first AAC showdown between the Shockers and Huskies will be played at the XL Center in Hartford with a noon tipoff. The Huskies will play a 31-game regular season schedule, opening on Nov. 10, against Colgate at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. UConn will put a wrap on regular-season play March 4 at Houston.

UConn’s non-conference schedule was previously released and includes three games in the PK80-Phil Knivhg Invitational in Portland, Ore. The Huskies will open that event against Oregon on Nov. 23. UConn will also play Syracuse in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 5. Before playing Wichita State on Dec. 30, the Huskies will be on the road for games at Arizona (Dec. 21) and Auburn (Dec. 23)

The Huskies will play a second game featured by CBS on Jan. 20 when former Big East Conference rival Villanova visits the XL Center..

UConn also has a road game against Wichita State, to be played Feb. 10 at Koch Arena and carried by either ESPN or ESPN2.

AAC fever has clearly reached into Kansas, The Wichita Eagle reports that Wichita State is close to selling out its season ticket allotment with only single seats available. The Shockers also have a limited number of ticket packages remaining in packages that include six non-conference games and an exhibition.

UConn’s full schedule can be found at this link with remaining times, venues and TV coverage to be announced at a later date.

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