The Nebraska women’s basketball team will play a 20-game schedule loaded with NCAA Tournament-caliber competition, Coach Connie Yori and the Huskers announced on Tuesday.
Nebraska, which is coming off an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2013, will play the first exhibition game (Pittsburg State, Oct. 27, 2 p.m.) and the first regular-season basketball game (UCLA, Nov. 8, Noon) in the history of Pinnacle Bank Arena, which will hold its official ribbon cutting on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m.
The $179 million arena will hold more than 15,000 fans for Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball and will give fans exciting new amenities throughout the arena, while the Huskers expect to provide top-notch competition on the court.
“From start to finish, our home schedule is going to challenge us and hopefully provide us the experience necessary to prepare for the postseason,” Yori said. “UCLA will test us right away and our team will be working hard to prepare for that first game. By the time we close our home regular-season schedule for Jordan Hooper’s Senior Night on Feb. 27, we will play 11 postseason tournament teams at home. That is a going to be a challenge.”
Overall, Nebraska will play at least 18 games against 2013 postseason squads, including at least 12 games against NCAA Tournament teams. Eleven of those 12 games will come against teams that advanced to the NCAA second round. The first of those 2013 NCAA second-round foes comes with UCLA on Friday, Nov. 8. The special noon tip time will be part of a historic day of basketball in the state of Nebraska, as the Husker men will face 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast later that evening.
“The excitement around basketball in the city of Lincoln and the state of Nebraska is probably at an all-time high right now, and we hope we can keep that growing,” Yori said. “The really exciting part about it is that we haven’t even played a game yet in the arena.”