UConn’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will both be heading to the Bahamas next season as the two programs are set to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis, an eight-team tournament located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
On the men’s side, the tournament will be held during Thanksgiving with games from Nov. 24-26. UConn will be joined by Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Michigan State, Syracuse, and VCU. The Huskies previously played in the Battle 4 Atlantis during the 2011-12 and 2015-16 seasons.
The inaugural women’s event will run from Nov. 20-22 with a field that includes Buffalo, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and South Florida along with the Huskies. The Manchester JI’s Carl Adamec first reported the news.
UConn will not play Oregon or South Carolina, however, because the Huskies have a contract with each school to play next season. According to the Hartford Courant, UConn doesn’t have a contract with Oklahoma, so the two sides could meet in the Bahamas.
While the tournament is set, the pandemic has thrown the rest of the UConn women’s basketball’s non-conference schedule next season into flux.
“We had a lot of games postponed this year that contractually have to be rescheduled somehow, someway, plus the ones that we had coming on that start next year,” Geno Auriemma said on Tuesday. “So there’s gonna be a lot of charts coming out, filling it out, what makes sense, what doesn’t make sense.”
As of now, it seems like UConn’s trips to Oregon and South Carolina are safe. Other matchups with Oklahoma and Texas plus their highly-anticipated showdown with Notre Dame were all bumped back to the 2021-22 campaign. The Huskies are also scheduled to play Maryland — a series that was supposed to begin this season. There’s a long-rumored neutral court matchup with Louisville that might also happen next season.
UConn already lost out on games against Dayton and Little Rock at home and Baylor and Virginia on the road this season. The Huskies were supposed to make a return trip to Little Rock for Christyn Williams’ homecoming game in 2021-22 as well, though Auriemma hinted it may not happen.
Another factor mixed in is that UConn doesn’t have a homecoming game scheduled for Olivia Nelson-Ododa next season. While Auriemma always says those games are never a guarantee, it’d be a surprise if the Huskies didn’t at least try to book an opponent from the greater Atlanta area.
Adamec also reported that UConn will host Arkansas sometime in the next three years.
All in all, the Huskies at least have three games in the Bahamas set in stone. Other than that, there’s a lot for Auriemma and associate athletic director Neal Eskin — who makes UConn’s schedule — to sort through.