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Washington Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Released

We now have all the information about the Huskies will play this upcoming season

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Columbus Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Washington Huskies men’s basketball program announced their entire non-conference schedule this morning.

All of the games with any significant interest for the casual fan had already been announced but the home slate has now been filled out. Gonzaga is the headliner game and the only one against a team that realistically has any chance of being an at-large team at season’s end. Montana, San Diego, and Eastern Washington have all had teams capable of winning an NCAA tournament game in the last decade but we’ll see how good any end up being this season. Auburn was scheduled to be a home game this season but it was moved back to next season likely to ensure there will be at least one premium home game per year when the Gonzaga match will be on the road.

Except for the Gonzaga clash, the rest of the best matchups will happen away from Seattle. The Huskies take on a Baylor squad, which many expect to be a top-25 team this year, in the Armed Forces Classic in Alaska. There won’t be a huge home crowd advantage given that it’s taking place on an army base but the Dawgs will be travelling significantly less than Baylor to get to the game.

Perhaps the most interesting game will be as part of the Hall of Fame Classic in Toronto, Canada against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols were the #1 team for a significant part of last season but, similar to the Huskies, are losing their 3 most important players. But, like the Huskies, they’re also adding in at least one 5-star player to help make up for it. A win in that game would be a huge boost to Washington’s resume and the perception of the Pac-12.

The final neutral site test will be in the Diamond Head Classic where the Huskies will square off against Ball State and have a chance to play likely Houston in the finals. At least of two of those games will be quadrant 2 matches but it’s unlikely they get a quadrant game unless they make it to the finals.

This schedule keeps up the trend under Coach Hopkins to play at least 3-4 quadrant one games in every schedule. However, it also keeps up the trend of having very few exciting home games outside of Gonzaga. And in the last two seasons the Huskies have generally done a good job of avoiding playing truly awful teams at home. That changes this year unless Maine or Mt. St. Mary’s take a massive leap forward because both were among the 25-30 worst teams in the country a season ago. Those are the kind of no upside games that can kill the team’s efficiency numbers if you don’t win by 30+ points. It’s also interesting to note that the Huskies won’t play a true road game until they get into conference play. But with 5 neutral environment games on the schedule that shouldn’t hurt their NET ranking much.

Below is a table of each UW non-conference opponent with their KenPom and NET ranking from last season.

2019/20 UW MBB Non-Conference Opponents

Team Final 2018/19 NET Rank Final 2018/19 KenPom Rank
Team Final 2018/19 NET Rank Final 2018/19 KenPom Rank
Baylor (N) 34 35
Mt. Saint Mary's (H) 319 324
Tennessee (N) 9 10
Maine (H) 335 338
Montana (H) 124 137
San Diego (H) 98 90
South Dakota (H) 230 229
Eastern Washington (H) 242 237
Gonzaga (H) 2 2
Seattle (H) 201 190
Ball State (N) 133 133
TBD- Hawaii? (N) 192 201
TBD- Houston? (N) 6 12