Washington hosts Auburn on Wednesday, December 21st which will be one of the biggest non-conference games at Hec-Ed in a while. The last time a power conference team played in Seattle against the Huskies was in 2016 when TCU visited and got smacked 92-67 by the Andrew Andrews/Dejounte Murray/Marquese Chriss squad. I went back 20 years and it has been at least that long since an SEC team played a road game against the Dawgs. The Tigers lost Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler as first round picks from their frontcourt but still will be dangerous. If you’re looking for a quick 20-minute preview of what should be a top-25 Auburn team check out this podcast here.
The annual contest against Gonzaga is once again scheduled to take place after getting cancelled each of the past 2 seasons due to COVID-19. And for the 3rd straight year it is scheduled to be on the road as Gonzaga isn’t coming back to Seattle until that game does take place in Spokane. The Zags will be either the #1 or #2 ranked team in the AP Poll after another successful remodel despite the loss of #2 overall pick Chet Holmgren.
The other event of note is the Wooden Legacy which will take place in Anaheim, California on Thanksgiving and the night prior. It was announced earlier this week that Washington will play Fresno State at 5:30p on Wednesday 11/23 as part of the first game of the event. The Huskies will then play the winner/loser of Vanderbilt/Saint Mary’s based on how they perform against Fresno. Saint Mary’s should be the best team at the event but UW can’t look past Fresno State in the Braxton Meah revenge game (he transferred from Fresno to UW this offseason) even though their star center Orlando Robinson also departed.
It should be a relatively soft landing for Washington which will be replacing 4/5th of its starting lineup primarily with transfers. The first 4 games all come at home and none of the opponents were top-150 teams a year ago. Then again we said that last year and opening night brought an embarrassing defeat to Northern Illinois team that finished #297 so we’ll see.
The Pac-12 weekends and pairings should be coming out relatively soon to complete the full picture of Washington’s schedule. Expect a pair of conference games to happen in early December between the Seattle and Gonzaga games as was scheduled last year.
Below are Washington’s scheduled opponents with their records and where they finished at KenPom last year:
Weber State: 21-12, 174th overall
North Florida: 11-20, 220nd overall
Utah Tech (formerly Dixie State): 13-18, 278th overall
Cal Baptist: 18-16, 225th overall
Fresno State: 23-13, 73rd overall
Either Vanderbilt: 19-17, 64th overall OR Saint Mary’s: 26-8, 16th overall
Seattle: 23-9, 139th overall
Gonzaga; 28-4, 1st overall
Cal Poly: 7-21, 308th overall
Idaho State: 7-23, 339th overall
Auburn: 28-6, 12th overall