The University of Washington Wednesday announced that it will play a home-and-home basketball series with the University of Connecticut starting in the 2012 season, when the West Coast Huskies travel to either Storrs, CT. (UConn campus) or the Hartford Center, to meet the East Coast Huskies. That game will be played Dec. 29, 2012.
UConn will travel to Seattle for a game on a yet-to-be-determined date during the 2013-14 season.
“We are excited to begin this home-and-home series,” said Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar. “It’s consistent with our non-conference scheduling philosophy to play several high profile basketball teams each year.”
Washington and UConn have met each other three times previously, but never on each other’s home courts. Connecticut won all three previous meetings: a pair of NCAA tournament games in 1998 and 2006, plus a Great Eight tournament game in Chicago Dec. 1, 1998.
Each of the three games has been memorable. The 1998 NCAA contest came during the Sweet Sixteen, UConn winning 75-74, in Greensboro, NC., on a last-second put-back basket by Rip Hamilton that still stings UW fans.
The UW Huskies were making their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1984 in that game, and took the lead with 33 seconds to play before UConn converted on the game’s last possession.
Nine months later, UW and UConn met in the Great Eight Classic at the United Center in Chicago. Ranked No. 1 at the time, UConn thumped Washington soundly 69-48. The Connecticut Huskies went on to win the NCAA championship that season, beating Duke in the title tilt.
In the last meeting between the schools, Washington dropped a 98-92 overtime decision at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., in the 2006 NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Rashad Anderson hit a game-tying 3-pointer for No. 1-seeded UConn with 1.8 seconds left in regulation and foul-depleted Washington couldn’t keep up in the extra session.
Washington has yet to announce its full 2012-13 schedule, although portions of it have been released.
The UConn trip will mark the second time during the season that Washington will play in the state of Connecticut. The UW Huskies will first play a pair of games Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT., as part of the Hall of Fame Classic.
UW will face Seton Hall and either Ohio State or Rhode Island in that tournament.
UW will also host Loyola University (Nov. 11) and Albany (Nov. 13) in the campus-round portion of the Hall-of-Fame Classic.
While Connecticut has never played Washington in Seattle, the UConn Huskies have played in Seattle, beating Gonzaga 88-83 Dec. 20, 2008 at Key Arena in the Battle in Seattle.