On Wednesday afternoon, UConn released the non-conference schedule for the defending 4-time national champion women’s basketball team. Geno’s Huskies have won 75 straight games but their undefeated streak will certainly be challenged, facing 10 NCAA Tournament teams out of conference, with an 11th in South Florida in the American.
The road to number five begins November 14 when they open the 2016-2017 season against Florida State in Tallahassee, one of seven Sweet Sixteen teams on the non-conference slate. After they open the season, the Huskies travel home to face Baylor, one of the two Elite Eight teams from last year on the schedule, on November 17.
On November 20, UConn hits the road again, heading to Baton Rogue for a date with the Tigers of LSU before a three-game homestand which ends with DePaul on December 1.
The Huskies then have a "neutral site" date with Texas in the Women’s Jimmy V Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena. UConn defeated Texas in Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena in the Elite Eight last season.
On December 7, the Huskies head to South Bend for a game with Notre Dame, one of the schools which has been able to challenge UConn in the past. The Huskies defeated the Irish, 91-81, in Gampel Pavilion last year.
After finals, the Huskies welcome in Ohio State before embarking on a short, two-game road trip. On December 21, they will be in Lincoln, Nebraska playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers. On December 29, they will take on a feisty Maryland team in College Park.
In a re-match of the most highly-anticipated game from last year's regular season schedule, South Carolina will visit UConn on February 13. The Huskies met the No. 2 Gamecocks on the road last year but the end result was hardly different from any other game on the schedule, a comfortable UConn win.
Next year's Huskies will be replacing a lot of talent with the departure of the eventual No. 1, 2, and 3 overall draft picks in this past May's WNBA Draft. Should the winning streak end, it will likely come at the hands of one of these opponents.
Being in the American has forced the Huskies to find strength-of-schedule juice on the non-conference slate, which is tougher than that of any other team in the country.