ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) --The American Athletic Conference announced schedule pairings for the 2016-17, 2017-18 seasons on Wednesday. While the Knights will face their rival USF only once this winter on the road, UCF will have the opportunity to play four-time reigning NCAA champion UConn on the Blacktop at CFE Arena.
The league's 11 members will play a 16-game schedule. Each team will play six of its 10 opponents twice, and four opponents once each -- two at home and two away. The previous schedule format saw league members play an 18-game schedule.
Each school will play the same home-and-home opponents over the course of two years in the current scheduling model. In their single-game pairings for 2016-17, the Knights will host UConn and Temple, and they will meet USF and Tulane on the road. In 2017-18, the home sites will flip.
The complete 2016-17 women's basketball regular season schedule with dates and times will be announced in August. The 2017 American Women's Basketball Championship will be once again be played at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., from March 3-6.
UCF will begin a new era under newly appointed head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. Coach Abe has helped three different teams reach the NCAA Tournament and five programs reach postseason play during her 26-year coaching career. She most recently guided Albany to a dynasty with a combined nine America East Conference tournament and regular season titles in addition to five NCAA Tournament berths.
Abrahamson-Henderson has surrounded herself with a successful support staff, including two of her assistants from Albany (Tahnee Balerio and Isoken Uzamere) and eight-time WNBA All-Star and former UConn standout,Nykesha Sales.
The Knights are the only team in The American to return all five of their starters from a year ago. Leading the way is senior Zykira Lewis, who joined the program's top five all-time career scorers last season. UCF's incoming freshman class is anchored by a pair of Orlando Sentinel all-area honorees, Korneila Wright and Ciara Thompson.
Deposits are currently being accepted for the 2016-2017 season. Anyone who purchases a season ticket to men's basketball will receive general admission season tickets to women's basketball. Fans can reserve their spots today here.