There won’t be a Big East or NCAA tournament for UConn, but the regular season still offers plenty of intrigue. Here’s a breakdown of the Huskies’ 2012-13 campaign.
Nov. 9 vs. Michigan State, Ramstein Air Base, Germany — So many storylines here. A season opener that marks the first NCAA game in Europe. A rivalry renewed: In three regular season meetings, the winner of UConn/Michigan State has gone on to win the national championship each time. Also, it’s still possible that this game could be Kevin Ollie’s head coaching debut.
Dec. 4 vs. North Carolina State, Madison Square Garden — Another tough non-conference battle for the Huskies. With no Big East tournament, UConn should draw fairly well in its early season trip to The Garden.
Dec. 29 vs. Washington, XL Center — The East Coast Huskies vs. the West Coast Huskies. After Michigan State and N.C. State, this should be another challenge. Like UConn, Washington must replace several starters from last season. Leading scorers Tony Wroten (16.7 points) and Terrence Ross (15.3) declared for the NBA draft.
Jan. 14 vs. Louisville, XL Center — The conference favorite visits Hartford for an ESPN Big Monday showdown. Just a guess: This will be the loudest UConn crowd of the year.
Feb. 13 vs. Syracuse, XL Center — This epic series comes to an end (at least as a Big East rivalry) when the ACC-bound Orange head to Storrs in mid-February. If Calhoun is still coaching, it will almost certainly be the last time he faces longtime friend and rival Jim Boeheim.
Kris Dunn, Providence — A New London product and one of Connecticut’s all-time most decorated high school basketball players, Dunn may miss the entire season recovering from torn labrum surgery. If he manages to play as a freshman, he’ll have two opportunities against UConn: Jan. 31 at the Dunkin Donuts Center and March 9 in the regular-season finale at Gampel.
Kyle Casey, Harvard — The Crimson should be competitive, and possibly ranked, when it visits Storrs for a Dec. 7 date. The 6-foot-7 Casey, now a senior, could be a matchup problem for UConn.
Shawn Kemp Jr., Washington—The second coming of The Reign Man should see an increased role with Washington this winter. Built like his father, Kemp stands 6-foot-9, 255 pounds.
C.J. Fair, Syracuse — The versatile 6-foot-8 junior will be one of the top players in the league. He’ll play a larger role due to the departures of Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph and Fab Melo.
Peyton Siva, Louisville — Siva has been a Husky-killer throughout his career. Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier will be seeking payback after an embarrassing 21-point defeat at the KFC Yum! Center last February.
CAUGHT A BREAK
Jan. 14 at Notre Dame, Purcell Pavilion — One of the nation’s toughest road venues isn’t nearly as intense when students are home for winter break. UConn drew the Irish in early January last year as well, and ended up snapping snapped Notre Dame’s 31-game home winning streak.
Doubling up — UConn takes on DePaul, Providence, South Florida and Cincinnati twice. Hey, it could be a lot worse.
Gampel gets the shaft —The four on-campus Big East games feature Georgetown, DePaul, South Florida and Providence (the season finale). Most of the marquee matchups—Syracuse, Louisville, Washington—are in Hartford.
Super Sunday — UConn hosts South Florida at 2 p.m. on Feb. 3, the date of Super Bowl XLVII. It will be interesting to see if some fans opt to skip the matinee as they prepare for Eagles-Broncos (that’s right, I said it).
A SHOT AT THE TITLE (The Paradise Jam title, that is)
Nov. 16-19, Paradise Jam, St. Thomas — The obvious story here is UConn’s chance to compete for its only championship of 2012-13. There are some intriguing matchups, too: The Huskies could face Tom Moore and Quinnipiac in the semifinal, and if they get by the Bobcats, there’s a chance George Mason will be waiting in the title game. The two teams haven’t met since the Patriots shocked the college basketball world in the 2006 Elite Eight.