Washington Basketball’s non-conference slate: Kansas, Gonzaga, and more

SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 07: Bryan Alberts
SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 07: Bryan Alberts /

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 CarolinaVirginia Tech also made the NCAA Tournament last season as a nine seed.

DAYTON, OH – MARCH 15: Kalif Young /

Washington then returns to Seattle for a softer set of four games at home. The Huskies face Seattle U, UC Davis, Kennesaw State, and Nebraska-Omaha prior to hitting the road once again.

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.

Kansas Big 12 Champs
KANSAS CITY, MO – MARCH 12: Members of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrate with the Big 12 Basketball Tournament trophy as they celebrates the win over West Virginia Mountaineers 81-71 at Sprint Center on March 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Kansas rolled past UC Davis, Michigan State, and Purdue to advance to the Elite Eight. Three seed Oregon upset the Jayhawks 74-60 to move on to the Final Four.

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.

GLENDALE, AZ – APRIL 03: Johnathan Williams /

Despite losing star center Zach Collins to the NBA Draft, the Zags are expected to make another run at a perfect regular season. Gonzaga has won 15 of the last 19 West Coast Conference titles.

Washington wraps up non-conference play with three more matchups at home, hosting Loyola Marymount, Bethune-Cookman, and Montana. Pac-12 play officially begins during the week of Dec. 28.

Next: Previewing UW basketball’s 2017-18 roster

Complete non-conference schedule (all games at Alaska Airlines Arena unless otherwise noted):

Nov. 2Saint 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