Highlighting the 2008-09 home schedule, Elaine Elliott and her women's basketball team will host Jackson State and Louisville.
June 27, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah women's basketball team will hit the ground running in 2008-09 as the first six games of the year have the Utes locking horns with teams that made it to the postseason last year.
"This schedule will allow us to build a strong pre-season RPI," said veteran head coach Elaine Elliott. "It will continue our tradition of competitive scheduling, and it will help strengthen our national reputation."
Utah isn't a stranger to playing a tough schedule. Last year, it had the best RPI in the Mountain West Conference, finishing No. 33 in the NCAA ranking.
Seven of the 13 non-conference teams that Utah plays in 2008-09 made it to the postseason last year. Highlighting the home portion of the schedule is Jackson State and Louisville.
On Nov. 17, Utah hosts Jackson State. JSU was an 18-game winner last year, claiming its conference championship title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Louisville comes to town on Nov. 25. While the Cardinals finished fifth in the Big East, they were a 26-game winner last year and they made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Other home dates feature Santa Clara, which finished second in the West Coast Conference, on Dec. 13, and Southeastern Conference rival Mississippi State on Dec. 20.
The Utes will also have to play some of the nation's top programs on the road as well. The first four road dates are all against teams that played in the postseason last year. First up is WNIT participant South Dakota State on Nov. 20. Then, the Utes play in a tournament in Milwaukee, Wis., from Nov. 28-30. There, they tangle with three more postseason teams. Utah will have to play Marquette and Gonzaga, both WNIT participants, and Virginia, an NCAA Tournament team.
An in-state road game has the Utes playing Big Sky rival Weber State on Dec. 19. Road dates at Pac-10 foe Oregon (Dec. 28) and Big West power UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 30) round out the month of December. The non-conference schedule concludes with a home game against Norfolk State on Jan. 2.
When it's all said and done, the Utes will play five teams from a "BCS" affiliated conference, three defending conference champions, and another six teams that were in the top three of their respective conference.
The non-conference schedule is still tentative at this time, and it should be solidified when the entire schedule, including Mountain West Conference games, is released in early August.
Below is a complete listing of the tentative 2008-09 schedule:
Date Team Time Nov. 4 Westminster College (Exhibition) 7 p.m. Nov. 8 Southern Oregon (Exhibition) 3 p.m. Nov. 17 Jackson State 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at South Dakota State 6 p.m. Nov. 25 Louisville 7 p.m. Nov. 28-30 at Marquette Tournament vs. Marquette, Virginia, Gonzaga Dec. 4 Open Date (TBD) TBA Dec. 13 Santa Clara 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at Weber State 7 p.m. Dec. 20 Mississippi State 7 p.m. Dec. 28 at Oregon TBA Dec. 30 at UC Santa Barbara TBA Jan. 2 Norfolk State 7 p.m.