This year, with the Huskies ineligible for the postseason tournament, a stronger schedule was assembled. They played Michigan State in the Armed Forces Classic in Germany and N.C. State in New York, both neutral-site games. New Mexico turned out to be the opponent in the Paradise Jam.
But Washington, from the Pac 12, will come to the XL Center on Dec. 29, and UConn will complete this "series" with a trip to Seattle next year. Similar agreements have been in place with San Diego State and Texas. UConn could stagger these home-and-home series to have enough home games each season, but it would not be easy to schedule five or six power-conference opponents in a given year.
If there is a UConn program likely immune from damage amid the fray of conference realignment, it is women's basketball.
As constituted for the past 20 years, coach Geno Auriemma's seven-time national champions would dominate any conference or league in which they would be incorporated. They have already won 37 total Big East championships (18 tournament titles) on the way to their 13 Final Fours, including the past five.
In fact, the Huskies probably would also survive as an independent, a fact that Auriemma alluded to a few weeks ago.
"I have been operating for a long time now as if this program is an independent contractor," Auriemma said recently.
UConn's biggest problem trying to operate as an independent, such as Notre Dame does in football, is trying to fill its schedule with enough games.
"I don't know if that would be possible, to be honest with you," Auriemma said.
This season, the Huskies have 16 conference games to supplement a strong nonconference schedule that includes Pac-12 (Stanford and Oregon), Big Ten (Penn State, Purdue), Big 12 (Baylor), SEC (Texas A&M) and ACC (Maryland and Wake Forest) opponents.
But if any program could do it, especially with the help of national network and cable television matchmakers, it would be UConn.
Another factor in UConn's favor is that it already recruits nationally on the basis of its reputation, as opposed to its conference affiliation. The Huskies have signed the past two national high school players of the year, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart.
"It was more about the team for me, who I would be playing with," said Mosqueda-Lewis. "You knew UConn would be playing a strong schedule and was always going to be in the NCAA Tournament, so that was most important."
On his coach's show on WTIC-1080 Thursday night, Auriemma even suggested the possibility that each of UConn's athletic programs could try to associate itself with a conference that best suits its competitive needs and level.
There is precedent in the nation of many college programs playing in many leagues, as Boise State, East Carolina, San Diego State and Navy are planning to do when they join the Big East for football.
"The best way we can help UConn athletics is by making sure we are the best women's basketball program in the country," Auriemma said. "We'd be doing a disservice to the school and our players if we just sat around and said, 'Woe is me, what are we going to do?'"
The Huskies' football future is not changing as the Catholic schools leave the Big East. The Big East football conference has been decimated by defections, most recently Rutgers to the Big Ten and Louisville to the ACC.
Moving forward, UConn's football program is tied to a conference with a mix of Big East holdovers (South Florida, Cincinnati, Temple), Conference USA refugees (Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU, East Carolina, Tulane), ex-Mountain West members (Boise State, San Diego State) and Navy (football only in 2015).
The Big East — or whatever the football conference will be called — will retain its AQ status next year and the conference is slated to be part of the college football playoff system as one of five conferences vying for a BCS bowl bid. That should remain the same, especially if commissioner Mike Aresco keeps Boise State in the fold.