SEATTLE — If there’s been a knock on the University of Washington men’s basketball program in recent years, it’s that the Huskies’ nonconference schedules have been overloaded with home games and inferior opponents.
UW won’t be filling up on cupcakes this time around.
The 2011-12 schedule, which came out Tuesday, is highlighted by a December trip to New York City’s Madison Square Garden to face Duke and Marquette. The schedule also includes trips to St. Louis and Reno, Nev., for a pair of nonconference games, as well as a full slate of home games and 18 games against competition from the new Pacific-12 Conference.
The season officially opens Nov. 12, when UW plays host to the BTI tournament at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. That tournament includes the University of Portland, Florida Atlantic and Georgia State.
Things should get slightly more difficult when the Huskies play a road game at St. Louis University, where UW head coach Lorenzo Romar coached before returning to his alma mater nine years ago.
After hosting Houston Baptist on Nov. 25, the Huskies travel to Reno to face the University of Nevada on Dec. 2. That will be followed by the Madison Square Garden trip before UW closes out its pre-conference schedule with home games against UC Santa Barbara, South Dakota State and Cal Northridge.
The Pac-12 season opens at Hec Ed on Dec. 29, when UW hosts Oregon State. The first road trip is a week later, with stops in Colorado and Utah.
The Madison Square Garden visit marks UW’s first regular-season games on the East Coast since February 2004, when the Huskies played at North Carolina State. The Huskies last faced Duke in 1990. UW has an all-time record of 1-3 against the Blue Devils.