One more sign that college basketball isn't far off: last week, the UConn men announced their non-conference schedule (the Big East matchups were previously unveiled), and now the women have done the same.
Details via a school news release
"The University of Connecticut women's basketball team has announced its 2011-12 non-conference schedule. The 14-game non-conference slate includes seven opponents that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament and four opponents that finished the season rated in the top-six of the RPI. In addition to the 14-game non-conference schedule, the Huskies will also play a pair of exhibition contests."
UConn opens the regular season on Nov. 13 against Holy Cross. They face Pacific two days later and then it's a rematch against Stanford, which handed the Huskies their only regular-season loss in 2010-11.
Other games against NCAA Tourney teams include: Dayton (Nov. 27), defending national champs Texas A&M (Dec. 6), at Baylor (Dec. 18), UNC (Jan. 16), Duke (Jan. 30) and Oklahoma (Feb. 13). UConn will also face Pace University, a 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament team, in an exhibition match (Nov. 9).
More details, courtesy of the presser:
2011-12 Non-Conference Schedule Notes
- Seven of UConn's 14 non-conference opponents qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament
- Three opponents won or shared their league's regular-season title
- Four opponents finished ranked in the top-six of the RPI
- Six opponents finished ranked in the top-21 of the RPI
- Two opponents advanced to the 2011 Final Four and Texas A&M won the National Championship
- Four opponents advanced to the 2011 Elite Eight
- Six opponents advanced to the 2011 Sweet 16
- Four true road games, 10 homes games
We wrote about it in May, but coach Geno Auriemma seems to favor tough schedules.
Here's what we said at the time: "Auriemma believes that the best way to prepare his team is not by scheduling cream puffs early and easing into conference play, but by testing them throughout, against the best programs in the country." And clearly, that philosophy hasn't changed.