College basketball lives off its rivalries and not just because they’re the most intense games of the regular season. The teams who have the most history with each other also routinely provide some of the most talent-laden, best-played games of the year.
Of course, in this era of conference realignment, not all of the best rivalries are longstanding ones. Newfound AAC foes SMU and Connecticut got off to a fast start a year ago—the underdog Mustangs won both games—and this year’s edition will pit Ryan Boatright’s defending national champs against one of the fastest-rising teams in the country.
Read on for more on why the Huskies and Mustangs will be playing for extra-high stakes, along with seven more of the most intriguing rivalry battles on tap for the 2014-15 season.