Washington Basketball released the non-conference portion of its 2017-18 schedule on Tuesday. Head coach Mike Hopkins‘ inaugural season at UW will begin with 13 non-conference match-ups, highlighted by games against Kansas and Gonzaga plus a trip to Madison Square Garden.
Washington Basketball will play three neutral site games, with the remaining 10 games played at home at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington will also play one exhibition game prior to the start of the regular season.
The Huskies tip off Nov. 10 with a home opener against Belmont. Belmont finished 23-7 last season and made it to the second round of the NIT, and has a history of appearances in the postseason. Eastern Washington makes a visit to Alaska Airlines Arena two days later, before UW makes a trek to the east coast.
Washington joins 2K Sports Classic in NYC
The 2K Sports Classic will be played at Madison Square Garden in New York City and features four teams. Washington is paired with Providence in game one, and will face either Saint Louis or Virginia Tech in game two.
Providence was a tournament team last season, losing to USC in the First Four. The Friars finished third in the Big East and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before being defeated by North Carolina. Virginia Tech also made the NCAA Tournament last season as a nine seed.
UC Davis will not be a pushover–the Aggies won the Big West Conference last season and made it to the NCAA Tournament. UC Davis defeated North Carolina Central in the First Four before losing to Kansas.
Washington meets a powerhouse
On Dec. 6, the Hopkins era will face by far its toughest early challenge. Washington will face two of the top teams in the nation in a single week.
The Huskies face Kansas in a “neutral site” game at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. The Jayhawks, a perennial powerhouse in college basketball, finished 31-5 and earned a No. 1 seed in the tournament last season. They also won the Big 12 regular season championship for the 13th consecutive year.
UW is 1-8 all time against Kansas. The two teams last met in 2008, when the Jayhawks walked away with a 19 point win.
Cross-state rivalry renewed (again)
Just four days later, Washington will host Gonzaga in part two of the home-and-home series scheduled between the in-state rivals. A season ago, UW got buried by the Bulldogs in Spokane, 71-98. Gonzaga went on to win 37 games over the course of the season and made its longest tournament run in school history, finally falling to North Carolina in the NCAA Championship.
Complete non-conference schedule (all games at Alaska Airlines Arena unless otherwise noted):
Nov. 2 – Saint Martin’s (exhibition)
Nov. 10 – Belmont
Nov. 12 – Eastern Washington
Nov. 16 – Providence (2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden)
Nov. 17 – Virginia Tech OR Saint Louis (2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden)
Nov. 24 – Seattle U
Nov. 26 – UC Davis
Nov. 28 – Kennesaw State
Dec. 3 – Nebraska-Omaha
Dec. 6 – Kansas (Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.)
Dec. 10 – Gonzaga
Dec. 17 – Loyola Marymount
Dec. 19 – Bethune-Cookman
Dec. 21 – Montana