The University of Washington men’s basketball team will unofficially open its 2012-13 season by hosting the national champs.
And the well-decorated visitors won’t have to travel far to get to UW.
Western Washington University, which won the NCAA Division II title last season, will get a shot at the big dogs when the Huskies host the Vikings in an Oct. 24 exhibition game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. It will mark the first time the programs have met in men’s basketball since 2008.
The Huskies’ non-conference schedule, which was officially released Tuesday, also will include two possible revenge games for UW at home. Nevada and St. Louis, both of whom knocked off the Huskies last season in a pair of games that went on to play large roles in UW’s exclusion from the NCAA tournament, will be at Hec Ed in the fall.
The most high-profile non-conference game will come just before Pacific-12 Conference play begins, with a Dec. 29 trip to Storrs, Conn., to face the University of Connecticut. Those Huskies won the 2011 national title but struggled just to get into the NCAA tournament field last season.
The Huskies officially open the season with home games against Loyola (Md.) on Nov. 11 and Albany two days later. UW will follow that with a trip to Uncasville, Conn., for games against Seton Hall and either Rhode Island or Ohio State in the Hall of Fame Classic.
UW, which annually loads up on non-conference home games against inferior opponents, also will play host to NCAA tournament participant Colorado State as well as Cal State Fullerton, Jackson State, Cal Poly and Northern Illinois — in addition to its annual battle with Seattle University.