No UCLA at McKale Center in a regular-season game for the first time since 1979.
Arizona fans must wait until 2015 to see the rival Bruins in Tucson.
Conversely, the Wildcats do not play in Seattle against Washington for the first time in 35 years.
The Pac-12’s inclusion of Colorado and Utah ended the conference’s round-robin format. The league now has a rotating 10-year format in which four teams are played only once each season for two years, then a new set of four teams is scheduled. Arizona and ASU play twice each season.
The Wildcats played California, Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State only once each over the past two seasons. They return to playing home-and-home arrangements with those four teams this season.
It’s unfortunate that Arizona only plays UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 9. USC hosts the Wildcats on Jan. 11 and does not make a return trip.
Arizona and UCLA should schedule a non-conference game in years in which they face each other only once in the regular season. Arizona-UCLA is the marquee matchup in the conference. It is the Pac-12’s version of North Carolina-Duke. Having only one game between the Bruins and Wildcats is a disappointment.
It is similar to Oregon not playing USC in football, which, sadly for the conference, is the case this upcoming season.
Say what you will about Bill Walton, but during last season’s broadcast of the UCLA-Arizona game in Tucson, the former Bruins star said, “The Arizona-UCLA game is the signature game of college basketball in the western United States.”
A non-conference basketball game between two conference teams is not unprecedented. Arizona and ASU played non-conference season-opening games against each other in three consecutive seasons from 1976-78. They played each other in a three-game format in their last season in the WAC and first two in the Pac-10.
They alternated that game between Tucson and Tempe, although ASU hosted only once out of the three games before the schools returned to only the two conference games.
Another element of Arizona’s schedule that must not make coach Sean Miller thrilled is the Wildcats play five of their last seven conference games on the road, including a season-ending weekend at the Oregon schools. They start with seven of their first 11 conference games at McKale Center.
Dates for Pac-12 games remain subject to change based on television selections. Start times and television information for the Wildcats’ 2013-14 schedule will be announced as available.
2013-14 ARIZONA MEN’S HOOPS SCHEDULE
Oct. 28 AUGUSTANA (S.D.) (exhibition)
Nov. 8 CAL POLY
Nov. 11 LONG BEACH STATE
Nov. 14 at San Diego State
Nov. 18 or 19 NIT Tip-Off Classic
Nov. 19 or 20 NIT Tip-Off Classic
Nov. 27 NIT semifinals* at New York
Nov. 29 NIT final or consolation* at New York
Dec. 3 TEXAS TECH
Dec. 7 UNLV
Dec. 11 NEW MEXICO STATE
Dec. 14 at Michigan
Dec. 19 SOUTHERN
Dec. 23 NAU
Jan. 2 WASHINGTON
Jan. 4 WASHINGTON STATE
Jan. 9 at UCLA
Jan. 11 at USC
Jan 18 ASU
Jan. 23 COLORADO
Jan. 25 UTAH
Jan. 30 at Stanford
Feb. 1 at California
Feb. 6 OREGON
Feb. 8 OREGON STATE
Feb. 14 at ASU
Feb. 20 at Utah
Feb. 22 at Colorado
Feb. 27 CALIFORNIA
March 1 STANFORD
March 6 at Oregon State
March 8 at Oregon
March 12-15 Pac-12 tournament at Las Vegas
* If Arizona advances past the first two games of the NIT