The Huskies will not be going to Disney World next season. That's the offshoot of the American Athletic Conference men's basketball pairings, which were announced Wednesday.
With three teams coming in, Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina, and two departing, Louisville and Rutgers, the AAC will have 11 teams, so it won't be possible to have the true round robin schedule the league had in its first season, with each team playing every opponent home and away.
So UConn will play Central Florida at home only, with no trip to play in Orlando, Fla. The Huskies will play at Houston but will not host the Cougars.
UConn will play the other eight teams – Temple, Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa, East Carolina, South Florida, Southern Methodist and Cincinnati — home and away.
The AAC championship tournament, which will be in Hartford at the XL Center, will move to a Thursday-Sunday schedule. The championship game will be March 15, NCAA selection Sunday.
"We took into consideration rivalries, marquee matchups and geographical and travel considerations," said commissioner Mike Aresco. "The move of our championship to a Thursday-Sunday format offers our traveling fans more convenience while affording us significantly better coverage on ESPN platforms and a championship window that has historically produced better ratings."
For UConn, Temple (in Philadelphia) is the closest opponent geographically. Cincinnati, as a former Big East opponent, and Memphis, which has a tradition of success, are most likely to form rivalries with the Huskies, depending, of course, on how long UConn stays in this conference.
The away games will make for a lot of air miles logged in January and February. The Huskies are committed to a nonconference game at Stanford, which had to be scheduled in mid January, so along with Tulsa, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Memphis and Tampa, Fla., there will be several trips of at least 1,000 miles over the final eight or nine weeks of the season.
UConn will begin defense of its national championship against Bryant at home on Nov. 14. In the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic in late November, Dayton, Boston College, West Virginia, George Mason, Texas A&M, New Mexico and College of Charleston are potential opponents for three games. The Huskies also have games lined up at Florida and against Duke in East Rutherford, N.J.
Mark Your Calendar
The UConn alumni event at Mohegan Sun Arena is scheduled for Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to go on sale in mid June. The Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game will have a different format this year, with former UConn players going against an all-star team of retired NBA players from other schools, particularly Big East rivals. The game is awaiting approval/sanctioning from the NBA, but that is usually a formality. … Calhoun will be at the Marriott in downtown Hartford on June 27, where he will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Arthritis Foundation of New England. Joe D'Ambrosio will emcee the event, which includes a live charity auction. Call 860-781-7776 for details. ... Kevin Ollie and UHart women's basketball coach Jen Rizzotti are co-chairs for the Miracle League of Connecticut Celebrity Golf Classic on June 3 at Wampanoag CC in West Hartford. Proceeds go to maintain the cushioned, wheelchair accessible baseball field and playground at Trout Brook and Asylum avenues. More info at http://www.miracleleaguect.org. … Ollie's Charity Golf Classic, which benefits the Tolland Fund, is set for Aug. 4 at Glastonbury Hills CC. The Tolland Fund raises awareness and money to create opportunities for athletes with disabilities. More info is available at http://www.TollandFund.org. … Ollie and retired Sacred Heart coach Dave Bike will be honored at the Franciscan Sports Banquet at the Aqua Turf in Southington on June 10. The event benefits the Franciscan Life Center, Franciscan Home and Hospice Care. For more information, call 203-237-8084 or go to http://www.flcenter.org. … The first session of UConn's summer classes, when incoming freshmen usually begin their time in Storrs, starts Monday. … Malik Newman, a highly rated guard from Jackson, Miss., told SNY's Adam Zagoria last week that he and Diamond Stone, a highly regarded center from Milwaukee, are "100 percent" determined to be a package deal in chosing a college. UConn coaches had in-home visits with both during April.
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