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Longhorns to be hosted in non-conference play by future SEC foes, NCAA's defending champs

Texas guard Audrey Warren (31) shoots and scores over South Carolina's Victaria Saxton (5) on March 30, 2021 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

This basketball season, Texas will get to measure itself against the NCAA's reigning champion and runner-up.

Stanford and Arizona were among the notable names on the non-conference schedule released by Texas on Friday. The season opener at Texas is slated for Nov. 9.

After a Gregory Gym-hosted scrimmage against Oklahoma Baptist on Nov. 4, Texas will welcome New Orleans to the Erwin Center for its opener. The Longhorns are also set to be the home team against Southeast Missouri (Nov. 17), Cal State Northridge (Nov. 27), Jackson State (Dec. 1), Idaho (Dec. 11) and Alcorn State (Dec. 29).

UT's regular-season guests posted a combined record of 63-52 last winter. (Cal State Northridge sat out the 2020-21 season). Only Jackson State reached the NCAA Tournament.

Tougher tests await Texas on the road. The Longhorns have booked trips to Stanford (Nov. 14), Tennessee (Nov. 21), Texas A&M (Dec. 5) and Princeton (Dec. 22). Texas and Arizona will also meet in Las Vegas on Dec. 19 as part of the Pac 12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge.

Last season, Stanford beat Arizona in the NCAA's championship game. Texas A&M and Tennessee, who will soon be UT's rivals in the SEC, combined to win three tournament games. Princeton did not play basketball this past season, but the Tigers won at least 20 games in each of their three previous campaigns.

In a statement, Texas coach Vic Schaefer said that "I’m excited to take this team across the country and play some outstanding programs as well as the home games we have against conference champions and runner-ups in their respective leagues. We will certainly be challenged, night in and night out."

More:Texas' hard-nosed Audrey Warren is 'the tough player that we need'

In Schaefer's first season with the Longhorns, Texas went 21-10 and reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 2016. Seniors Joanne Allen-Taylor and Audrey Warren are UT's only returning starters. Texas, though, did sign one of the top classes in the 2021 recruiting cycle.