Washington opens the Maui Invitational against Virginia, coached by former Washington State men's basketball coach Tony Bennett.

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That’s how Washington coach Lorenzo Romar described the Maui Invitational schedule.

The Huskies play Virginia at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22 in an opening matchup televised on ESPN2.

The game pits Washington against former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, who guided the Cavaliers to a 15-16 record in his first season at Virginia. Bennett had a 5-2 mark against Washington during a his three years at WSU.

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“Virginia is going to be a tough opponent,” Romar said. “We know the type of culture that is going to be around their program.”

Kentucky plays Oklahoma in the same half of the bracket as Washington, which sets up the possibility of a UW-Kentucky matchup in the semifinals.

There’s a budding rivalry between the schools that has been ignited by the recruiting battles for Wildcats players Terrence Jones and Enes Kanter.

“I glanced at the entire bracket,” Romar said. “The field is so loaded just about any combination is going to be big. That’s not the only matchup that would be appealing.”

In the top half of the bracket, Wichita State plays Connecticut and Michigan State faces host Chaminade.

The Huskies could face UConn in the championship game. Washington is 0-3 against Connecticut, including a pair of defeats in the NCAA tournament.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

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