KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Southeastern Conference released its portion of the women’s basketball schedule for the upcoming season on Tuesday afternoon, completing Tennessee’s 29-game regular-season slate.
This marks the eighth year of the 16‐game schedule for SEC women’s basketball and the fifth with 14 teams. Each program will play eight home games and eight away games.
Tennessee, ranked No. 11 in Charlie Crème’s espnW Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25, will play home and away vs. permanent opponent Vanderbilt as well Mississippi State and Florida. The Bulldogs and Gators are ranked No. 12 and No. 17, respectively, in Crème’s poll.
Other Lady Vol SEC home games include No. 13 Kentucky, LSU, No. 19 Missouri, Texas A&M and Arkansas. On the road, UT also will play at Ole Miss, Auburn, No. 3 South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama to round out the league slate.
The SEC Tournament takes place March 1-5 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.
Tennessee season tickets will go on sale soon, and single-game tickets will be available for purchase in October.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will produce a combined 21 regular season contests and the SEC Network will televise 63 games. Included in those numbers are games presented as part of the 2016 SEC/Big 12 Women’s Basketball Challenge, Dec. 1‐4. In addition, We Back Pat games will be featured during the week of Jan. 16‐23.
Institutions will continue to have the ability to produce for SEC Network + (SECN+) any conference and non‐conference games that are not otherwise televised, and those would be available on WatchESPN and SECSports.com. Games to be carried in that manner have not been confirmed.
All of the games in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) and the SEC Network will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
• The SEC opener is Tennessee’s earliest since playing at Auburn on Jan. 1, 2012, and the earliest league lid-lifter at home since hosting Ole Miss on Nov. 18, 1997.
• Tennessee is slated to play 11 regular-season games vs. teams ranked in Charlie Crème’s Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25, including seven at home.
• Those games are vs. No. 1 Notre Dame, at No. 3 South Carolina, vs. No. 5 Baylor, at No. 6 Texas, vs. No. 10 Stanford, vs. & at No. 12 Mississippi State, vs. No. 13 Kentucky, at & vs. No. 17 Florida and vs. No. 19 Missouri.
• The Lady Vols will play 17 regular-season games vs. teams that saw postseason action in 2015-16, including nine at Thompson-Boling Arena.
• NCAA Elite Eight teams a year ago include Baylor, Stanford and Texas, while Sweet 16 finishers were Notre Dame, South Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi State.
• Teams advancing as far as the NCAA Second Round in 2016 were Auburn, Missouri and Texas A&M, while James Madison, Troy, Florida (UT will play twice) and Georgia were eliminated in the first round.
• The Lady Vols had the nation’s toughest schedule in 2015-16, the second-toughest in 2014-15 and fourth most difficult in 2013-14.
• Virginia Tech (second round) and Alabama (first round) played in the WNIT last season.
• UT will open on the road for the third time in Holly Warlick’s five seasons as head coach.
• First-time opponents include Navy and UNC Wilmington.
• Tennessee will play at James Madison for the first time since March 8, 1974, at East Tennessee State (1/17/81), at Penn State (1/27/85) and at Virginia Tech (2/22/1995).
• The Lady Vols will host a lone exhibition game vs. Carson-Newman on Nov. 7.