UConn has lined up another powerful non conference opponent: Florida.
As we mentioned here on April 24, when the Huskies were at the State Capitol, a series with the Gators has been in the works, as UConn looks to upgrade its out-of-conference schedule. There were scheduling conflicts to be worked out on both ends.
Apparently, they have been. Gatorzone, Florida’s official website, has listed UConn among Florida’s non-conference opponents next season, reporting the game will be Dec. 2, and “Florida’s first trip to Storrs.” (Not sure if the game is at Gampel or XL, though.)
UConn usually waits until all paperwork is complete to announce these things.
The Gators, perennial contenders under Billy Donovan, were 29-8 last season, reaching the Elite 8. It figures to be the start of an exciting series for UConn, assuming it includes a reciprocal trip to Florida. The Huskies and Gators last played in the 1994 NCAA Tournament, a painful OT loss for UConn in the Sweet 16 in Miami.
The Huskies need to beef up their non-conference schedule, to offset the loss of high-RPI opponents from the league schedule. It will be more important for 2014-15, when Louisville leaves for the ACC.
For 2013-14, UConn has locked into a game vs. Maryland in Brooklyn on Nov. 8, and the Y2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden, which will mean two games against Boston College, Washington or Indiana, depending on the bracket, Nov. 21 and 22.
UConn is close to finalizing a deal with Stanford, providing a Pac 12 opponent. If the Florida game gets locked up, factoring in two conference games each with Louisville, Memphis and Cincinnati, there will be plenty of opportunities for quality wins for the Huskies. And they’re probably not quite done on this front.
“We want to have the same RPI we’ve had previous years,” Kevin Ollie said at the Capitol. “We got to look at our conference and make adjustments. We don’t want to go down in RPI. That means trying to go out and get big, major games and that’s what we’re going to do.”