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Breaking Down UConn WBB's 2019-20 Schedule

Rob Joyce
September 27, 2019 - 11:07 am

Just like the men’s team, the UConn women’s basketball team’s schedule was officially released over the weekend, and as always Geno Auriemma loaded up the non-conference slate, starting off the bat with the season opener on Nov. 10 against Cal. The home schedule, in particular, sees some of the best programs in the country come to either Storrs or Hartford.

With the men’s team we broke down the five most interesting games, regardless of location. With the women, here are the five top home games to watch:

1) Oregon (Feb. 3):

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

This is the most talented team in the nation, hands down. Remember three years ago, when the plucky underdog Ducks went to the Elite 8 as a 10-seed and got steamrolled by UConn? Those Ducks are all grown up. They went from back-to-back Elite 8 losses to a first Final Four a season ago, and have the nation’s best player in Sabrina Ionescu. WNBA draft eligible, she chose to skip the pros for her senior season in Eugene, already smashing the NCAA record for career triple-doubles.

She’s joined by post presence Ruthy Hebard, a double-double machine, sophomore Satou Sabally, who could be an All-American this year, and three-point threat Erin Boley. It’s championship-or-bust for Oregon when they make the trip to Gampel.

2) Baylor (Jan. 9):

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The defending champs come to Hartford, and the Lady Bears manhandled the Huskies in Waco last season in a 68-57 win. All-American Kalani Brown and Final Four hero Chloe Jackson are gone, but Kim Mulkey’s roster is still loaded. If Lauren Cox recovers from her championship game knee injury, she’s Player of the Year caliber, while DiDi Richards and Juicy Landrum will step up scoring-wise. Baylor will start off the year ranked first or second.

3) Notre Dame (Dec. 8):

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

While this might not be the typical UConn team of this decade’s past, this isn’t last year’s national runner-up, either. The Irish lost an entire starting lineup to the WNBA Draft, led by Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard and Marina Mabrey. A top-10 recruiting class is waiting in the wings, but they might be a year away from returning to Final Four status. Still, it’s UConn-Notre Dame in Gampel. It’s a big game regardless. Speaking of rivalries...

4) Tennessee (Jan. 23):

(Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s baaaaack! Okay, the Lady Vols aren’t at the top of the world anymore, but it will be nostalgic when UConn and Tennessee meet in Hartford. The rivalry ended after 2007, on the cusp of Candace Parker and Co. winning back-to-back national titles. Since then Tennessee hasn’t been back to the Final Four, and just let go of Holly Warlick and brought in Kellie Harper to coach.

Adding to the game is the fact that Tennessee’s leading scorer from last year is now in Storrs, as Evina Westbrook transferred in the offseason.

5) USF (Mar. 2):

(Photo: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

The rest of the marquee non-conference games (Ohio State, DePaul, South Carolina) are all on the road, leaving us with the last-ever home game for UConn in the American Athletic Conference. USF has traditionally been the league’s second-best program, though the Huskies have had little issue dispatching of the Bulls (remember, they are 120-0 all-time against the AAC). If nothing else, even if this is a “down” year by UConn’s standards, they’ll in all likelihood be 135-0 against the league heading into the regular season finale in Hartford.