While football continues to dominate the minds of college sports fans, it is important to keep things in perspective. The time for basketball will soon be upon us and UConn will again begin its journey back to a National Championship.
Today, we move one step closer with the reveal of the American Athletic Conference schedule. We can now see the road-ahead, in its entirety, challenges and all.
In their 2017-18 campaign, UConn finished 7-11 in the AAC, 14-18 overall. That was good for eighth in the conference standings, better than just SMU, Tulane, ECU and USF.
There’s a renewed hopefulness now that Dan Hurley has taken over, with many expecting a full-scale turnaround within the next few years.
Conference play kicks off with a trip to Tampa on Jan. 2nd to face the USF Bulls. While the Bulls struggled mightily last season, finishing last in the AAC, seven of their 10 wins came at home and no road win is automatic.
After a pair of home games against UCF and SMU, the Huskies head to Ohio for what projects to be the toughest conference game of the year. Cincinnati has consistently been one of the top squads in the AAC. Last year, they ran away with the conference, going 16-2 (31-5 overall) and earning a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament.
That said, this is a different looking lineup for Cincinnati. Top scorer Jacob Evans declared for the NBA draft after his junior year and was selected by the Golden State Warriors at the end of the first round. Graduating senior Gary Clark went undrafted but was signed by the Houston Rockets soon-after. Another 30-win season may not be possible this year, but the Bearcats are still going to be a tough out.
Cincinnati returns to Connecticut on Sunday, Feb. 24 - one of six weekend home games on the conference schedule. The others include UCF, Tulane, ECU, and USF along with Wichita State at Gampel Pavilion on Jan. 26.
This is a winnable game for the Huskies, as well. Of the nine players who took the court for Wichita State in last year’s NCAA Tournament, only one will be returning for the 2018-19 season: senior forward Markis McDuffie. UConn could take advantage of this rebuilding period to score a big win over a household name. Maybe two big wins.
After a difficult non-conference schedule that includes Syracuse, Arizona, Florida State and the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats, conference play provides little reprieve.
It was revealed that the Huskies will face Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa and Houston only once, with all other conference opponents scheduled for both home and away matchups. Needless to say, Dan Hurley faces a difficult task in his first year as head coach for the Huskies.
2018-2019 UConn Men’s Basketball Schedule
|Friday, Nov. 2||7:00 PM||Southern Connecticut (Ex.)||Gampel Pavilion||None|
|Thursday, Nov. 8||7:00 PM||Morehead State||Gampel Pavilion||TBA|
|Sunday, Nov. 11||TBA||UMKC||Gampel Pavilion||TBA|
|Thursday, Nov. 15||7:00 PM||Syracuse||Madison Square Garden||ESPN2|
|Friday, Nov. 16||4:30pm/6:30pm||Oregon/Iowa||Madison Square Garden||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|Tuesday, Nov. 20||7:00 PM||Cornell||XL Center||TBA|
|Saturday, Nov. 24||Noon||UNH||XL Center||TBA|
|Tuesday, Nov. 27||7:00 PM||UMass-Lowell||Gampel Pavilion||TBA|
|Sunday, Dec. 2||1:00 PM||Arizona||XL Center||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Dec. 5||7:00 PM||Lafayette||XL Center||TBA|
|Saturday, Dec. 8||6:30 PM||Florida State||Newark, NJ||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Dec. 15||TBA||Manhattan||Gampel Pavilion||TBA|
|Tuesday, Dec. 18||7:00 PM||Drexel||XL Center||TBA|
|Saturday, Dec. 22||12:30 PM||Villanova||Madison Square Garden||CBS|
|Wednesday, Jan. 2||8:30 PM||@ USF||Tampa, FL||CBSSN|
|Saturday, Jan. 5||Noon||UCF||XL Center||ESPNews|
|Thursday, Jan. 10||7:00 PM||SMU||Gampel Pavilion||CBSSN|
|Saturday, Jan. 12||8:00 PM||@ Cincinnati||Cincinnati, OH||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|Wednesday, Jan. 16||7:00 PM||@ Tulsa||Tulsa, OK||ESPNews|
|Saturday, Jan. 19||7:30 PM||Tulane||Gampel Pavilion||CBSSN|
|Saturday, Jan. 26||6:00 PM||Wichita State||Gampel Pavilion||CBSSN|
|Thursday, Jan. 31||9:00 PM||@ UCF||Orlando, FL||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|Sunday, Feb. 3||2:00 PM||ECU||XL Center||ESPNews|
|Wednesday, Feb. 6||6:00 PM||@ Temple||Philadephia, PA||CBSSN|
|Sunday, Feb. 10||2:00 PM||@ Memphis||Memphis, TN||CBSSN|
|Thursday, Feb. 14||7:00 PM||Houston||XL Center||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Thursday, Feb. 26||9:00 PM||@ SMU||Dallas, TX||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Sunday, Feb. 24||2:00 PM||Cincinnati||XL Center||ESPN|
|Thursday, Feb. 28||7:00 PM||@ Wichita State||Wichita, KS||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Sunday, Mar. 3||Noon||USF||Gampel Pavilion||CBSSN|
|Thursday, Mar. 7||7:00 PM||Temple||Gampel Pavilion||CBSSN|
|Sunday, Mar. 10||2:00 PM||@ ECU||Greenville, NC||ESPNU|