UConn women put together challenging out of conference schedule.
TORRINGTON: You can never say the University of Connecticut women's basketball program goes for a cupcake out of conference schedule.
For the second straight year, the Huskies have put together one heck of a schedule, challenging themselves as they come off a season that did not end with a National Championship.
I know that sounds strange but yes, Huskies fans, the team did drop their semi-final game in April to Mississippi State on a last second bucket by the demonstrative Morgan Williams who ended the team's 111-game winning streak.
So, the winning streak now stand at zero but with a team that got remarkably better without losing a great deal of talent, would anybody not expect the streak to start rolling once the regular season begins?
For the streak to go forward in a positive direction, many a top program will have to fall victim to the new Huskies lineup, starting with the Countdown to Columbus Tournament (Columbus is the site of the 2018 Final Four) where they will face Stanford on Sunday, November 12.
The Cardinal had been the last team to beat the Huskies before the record setting streak began and posted an impressive 32-6 record and advanced to the Final Four.
Their home opener will be in Storrs on Friday, November 17 when California comes to town. Cal wrapped up the 2016-17 campaign with a 20-14 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Other games in November feature Maryland on Sunday, November 19 a team that posted a 32-3 mark and was expected to meet up with UConn late in the tournament but dropped out in the regional semi-final when they lost to Oregon.
UCLA, a team that made it to the Bridgeport Regional Final where they lost to the Huskies, will host Geno Auriemma and his squad at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA.
Michigan State and Nevada round out a busy November for UConn, leading into their traditional battle with rival Notre Dame on December 3.
Trips to DePaul, Texas and South Carolina should be great match ups, as will home contests against Oklahoma, Duquesne and Louisville later in the season.
Playing the new National Champions, South Carolina, should be one heck of a battle.
The Gamecocks finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 33-4 mark.
Louisville, whom the Huskies have not met since beating them in the AAC Conference Championship game back in 2014, have lost 16 of 17 meetings with the team from Storrs but are always tough opponents.
This should be a fun year, a year that the Huskies will look to get back to the top spot in women's college basketball.
UConn with a chip on their shoulder. That should be something to watch.
Here are some stats about the UConn schedule.
2017-18 Non-Conference Schedule Notes - 13 total Games - Four home games - Five away games - Four game at a neutral site - 11 games against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams - Seven games against teams that advanced to the 2017 NCAA regional semifinal - Two games against teams that advanced to the 2017 NCAA regional final - Seven games against teams rated in the top-17 of the final 2017 RPI - 10 games against teams rated in the top-42 of the final 2017 RPI - Six games against teams ranked in the top-15 of the final 2017 AP Poll - Eight games against teams ranked in the top-25 of the final 2017 AP Poll - Two games against teams ranked in the top-three of the final 2017 AP Poll - Five games against teams that won either conference regular-season or tournament title - Eight games televised nationally, including four on ESPN