Plenty of tests for 'Hoos in non-conference play

CHARLOTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The non-conference schedule for Tina Thompson's second season as Virginia women's basketball coach features four games against teams from Power Five conferences and at least six that played in last year's NCAA Tournament -- including a trip to UConn.

UVA released the non-conference schedule for the women's basketball team on Wednesday. It begins with a game against Bucknell at John Paul Jones Arena on Tuesday, November 5. That's the first of five home games for the Cavaliers against non-ACC opponents -- all against teams that won at least 21 games and played in the postseason last year.

The Wahoos will also host Kentucky on November 16 and Old Dominion on November 24, then James Madison and UCLA on back-to-back days over the weekend following Thanksgiving, starting on November 30, in the annual 'Cavalier Classic.' Bucknell, Kentucky and UCLA were all NCAA Tournament teams last year -- the Bruins reached the Sweet 16 -- while ODU and the Dukes both played in the WNIT.

UVA's road opener will come on November 9 when the Wahoos visit USC, Thompson's alma mater -- a trip that will also include a visit to Cal State Northridge three days later. UVA will travel to Storrs to face UConn on November 19. The Wahoos will play at Rutgers in this year's Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 5, then face UNLV and either Mississippi State or South Florida at the two-day 'Duel in the Desert' in Las Vegas.

UConn finished 35-3 and reached the Final Four last season. Rutgers was also an NCAA Tournament team. If the Wahoos end up facing Mississippi State in Las Vegas, they'd meet a program that went 33-3 and reached the Elite Eight last year -- and has also opened each of the past two seasons by beating UVA.

Even without including Mississippi State in the mix, UVA's non-conference schedule includes seven teams that won at least 20 games last year, and six that played in the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia went 12-19 in Thompson's first season as head coach, including a 7-8 non-conference record. The Wahoos will have a revamped roster this year that will include six freshmen and four seniors.



 
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