It’s just the second time in Auburn history that a ranked Tigers team will play at home against a ranked nonconference team. UW is the first ranked nonconference team to visit Auburn Arena since 2006.

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Remember Washington’s upset over No.2 Kansas last year?

Of course you do.

It was the biggest regular-season road win in Husky history.

And it was also the night when a discounted UW team and its new coach, Mike Hopkins, pulled off a shocker that essentially told the college basketball world that they were no longer pushovers.

Everything changed for Washington after it toppled the Jayhawks 74-65 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., last December.

[No. 25 UW MBB vs. No. 11 Auburn: Projected starting lineups, scouting report]

For starters, the external expectations and UW fans’ excitement increased exponentially for a team that last appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2011.

And internally, Hopkins often refers to that game as evidence of what the Huskies can achieve when they play together and execute offensively while properly employing their suffocating 2-3 zone defense.

“Sometimes you need a reason to buy in,” he said after the Kansas win. “They saw firsthand that night that if you stick together, stick to the game plan, then you can beat anybody.”

This year’s Kansas is potentially Auburn.

No. 25 Washington travels deep into SEC territory for Friday’s 6:30 p.m. game against the No. 11 Tigers for an enticing early season matchup between ranked teams.

The Huskies are a considerable underdog and they’re given only a 22 percent chance to win by Kenpom.com. Last year, the basketball metrics website gave UW a 1.3 percent chance to beat Kansas.

Despite the odds, the Huskies, who captured a 91-73 exhibition win at Nevada three weeks ago, are relishing a chance to take down another top-ranked opponent on the road.

“These guys wanted to play a tough schedule,” Hopkins said. “The coaches, we wanted to play a tough schedule. We wanted to challenge ourselves and see where we’re at. Auburn is a great opportunity.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to go back there. … It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to play on a national stage and see what we’ve got. Let’s go see it. The only way you know is when you go challenge yourself.”

Fifth-year Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said Friday’s outcome could have NCAA tournament implications in March.

“This is a huge opportunity for both teams,” Pearl told reporters at a news conference this week. “Last year, Washington upset Kansas pretty early in the season. It was a win that really carried them throughout the season.”

Auburn, which was 26-8 and captured a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, had a breakout year last season. To a lesser extent, Washington also surpassed expectations while finishing 21-13 and advancing to the NIT.

The Tigers began the 2018-19 season ranked for the first time since 1999 while UW last started the year in the national polls in 2011.

This summer, Hopkins approached Pearl and the two agreed on a two-year deal that includes next year’s game in Seattle.

“A lot of coaches schedule based on what type of team they think they’re going to have or not have,” Pearl said. “I’ve always scheduled as difficult as I possibly can. … You have to build a resume to be able to put yourself in position to get in the tournament. The way to advance in the tournament is to get good seeding. And the way to get good seeding is to win and play a tough schedule.

“This game is on our schedule because I’ve always tried to get the best games as I possibly could. Now that we’re a little better, it actually allows us to get a top-25 team in here.”

It’s just the second time in Auburn history that a ranked Tigers team will play at home against a ranked nonconference team. UW is the first ranked nonconference team to visit Auburn Arena since 2006.

Both teams captured blowout wins in their openers Tuesday – Washington knocked off Western Kentucky 73-55 while Auburn clobbered South Alabama 101-58.

The Tigers were never threatened in a game in which they connected on 18 of 38 three-point attempts.

However, Friday’s showdown is a drastic step up in competition for both squads.

“This team couldn’t be any more unique than any team we’re going to play against,” Pearl said. “They’ll play 40 minutes of a Syracuse 2-3 zone.

“It’ll probably (be) the best zone that I’ve ever gone up against. That doesn’t mean we can’t score, that doesn’t mean we don’t have good stuff. That doesn’t mean we don’t think there’s some things we can do against it. But it’ll be a really, really unique challenge. Excited about the opportunity.”