Fall Arizona home games to watch out for
Editor's note: This article was produced as part of the Daily Wildcat's 2018 Campus Guide -- the perfect resource for any incoming Wildcat. Whether you're trying to find important dates, looking for a club to join or are interested in UA history and traditions, we'll be there to help you get through your first semester. Welcome to the University of Arizona!
With fall sports just around the corner, the spotlight has been focused on Kevin Sumlin, Khalil Tate and the new era of Arizona football. But there are some other exciting sports going on at UA this fall that will be garnering headlines. These are some of the most important games that can be watched live this fall in Tucson.
The Wildcats are coming off one of their most successful campaigns as they made the NCAA tournament and also captured a win. The expectations are higher this season, and the ‘Cats won't be sneaking up on anybody this year.
Season Home Opener: August 11 vs UTEP
It will be important for head coach Tony Amato and his team to get off to a quick start, and they will have a chance to do so before classes even start.
Pac-12 Home Opener: September 27 vs Utah
Competing in the Pac-12 means beating the teams who are in the middle of the pack with you, and beating Utah at home right before the meat of the schedule will be crucial to finishing the year strong.
Coming off a disappointing season in which the Wildcats finished with a road record of 1-10, the ‘Cats will have to take advantage of home games if they want any shot at getting back above .500. These are there most important games this fall:
Pac-12 Conference Opener vs ASU – September 20
Nothing would wash the bad taste out of this Wildcats team's mouth like a conference opening win at home over its bitter in-state rivals. This game could be an announcement to the rest of the Pac-12 as to what kind of Arizona team they are going to be dealing with.
Arizona vs UCLA – November 18
With the southern California schools routinely being national title contenders, there is no better measuring stick going into either the postseason or offseason to see just where your program lies. This game should clear that up.
Adia Barnes is coming off what seams like a disastrous year in which her team ended the season with a horrid 6-24 record, but the former WNBA champion went out and signed one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, with McDonalds All-American Cate Reese leading the revolutionary recruiting class.
The Arizona women’s basketball team has yet to release its schedule, so I cannot give you the exact date and opponent of the Wildcats' opening foe. What I can tell you is that this team is going to be worth the cost of admission, and you are going to want to watch Cate Reese for however long she is in an Arizona uniform. Coach Barnes looks to finally put her highly touted recruiting class on the floor, setting in place the initial building blocks for a program that looks to be on the rise.
Coming off of a season that saw the Wildcats continue to establish its dominance over other west coast basketball programs with another Pac-12 regular season title and a Pac-12 tournament championship.
Yet, the season ended in humiliating fashion at the hands of the University of Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA tournament, leaving Wildcat fans with a taste in their mouth that won't get washed out until the opening tip of this season. Have no fear 'Cats fanatics, the season is close, and the home games to help you erase last seasons ending is around the corner. Here are the games you need to be in attendance for this upcoming Fall.
Home Opener vs Houston Baptist - November 7th
Being in attendance for the first competetive game of the upcoming season is a must. McKale will be rocking, the Zona Zoo will pick up where it left off, being the nations best student section and will show you as a student the right way to cheer on Arizona for the rest of the season.
Arizona vs Utah Valley - December 6th
This game is on this list not for the competition, but for the timing of the game. This game takes place the day after the fall semester officially ends. Making this match up a perfect opportunity to get your best friends together and celebrate a (hopefully) successful semester by cheering on the 'Cats as you fade into your winter break.
With Kevin Sumlin taking over the Arizona football program, the buzz that is surrounding the start of a football season hasn't been this high since the 90's where the Desert Swarm defense reigned supreme in the Old Pueblo.
Tedy Bruschi and Co. isn't going to be walking through the door, but Heisman hopeful Khalil Tate will be, as he looks to not only build upon his legendary status in Arizona football lore, but carve his name into College Football history as he looks to continue to put up video game numbers against the teams on Arizona's schedule. And speaking of, these are the football games you simply cannot miss.
Home Opener vs BYU - September 1st (7:45 MST)
BYU has established itself as one of the most consistent football programs west of the Mississippi this millennium. This opening match up is the picture perfect measuring stick game for Arizona as they look to reach their first Rose Bowl in program history, and that dream will have to be put on hold for another year if this game is dropped. It will also start the highly anticipated Sumlin era off on the wrong foot, possibly impacting recruiting as well. This game is as big as it gets for this program.
Arizona vs USC - September 29th
If you want to consider yourself a contending football program in the Pac-12, beating USC is the only way to do it. USC is the gold standard when it comes to football programs on the west coast, and Arizona has the perfect opportunity to announce to the nation that Kevin Sumlin, Khalil Tate, and Arizona football is for real. If both teams are going into this game undefeated, this is a potential top-25 match up that could garner College Gameday coming to town. This is one that you just cannot miss.
Arizona vs ASU - November 24th
This game is going to be bonkers, plain and simple. Arizona hosts in-state rivals ASU on Thanksgiving weekend for their season finale. Which can, and will decide what kind of postseason Arizona can possibly have. Rivalry games bring the best out of everyone, and not just the players. This game will be having the best tailgates and parties leading up to the game, with alumni from all over the country flying and driving in not only to mingle with fellow Wildcats, but to take part in watching ASU fans cry and leave the stadium early is something that will be too sweet to pass up. See you there.
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