A closer look at Arizona men's basketball schedule
The Arizona men's basketball team is looking forward to this year, despite the tough schedule against top ranked Pac-12 teams. Arizona basketball is ranked No. 6 in the nation and No. 2 in the Pac-12 in the 2019 recruiting class.
Coming into the 2019-2020 season, the Wildcats rank No. 16 overall, according to a top 25 poll by NBC Sports. The Wildcats should have little to no trouble against their first 11 non-conference games. They will play teams such as Illinois, San Jose State, New Mexico State and Long Beach, who won’t pose much of a threat due to the overall strong starters coupled with immense depth on the bench that the Wildcats present.
However, nearing the end of the non-conference games, the Wildcats will go against Baylor (No. 20 in the nation according to NBC Sports), who just acquired Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague, and Gonzaga (No. 8 in the nation according to NBC Sports), with a feared projected lineup consisting of Ryan Woolridge, Admon Gilder, Corey Kispert, Killian Tillie and Filip Petrusev. These games are important to win; they'll give the Wildcats some major leeway coming into the next phase of their season. Following these two crucial games, the Wildcats will walk into the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The Pac-12 schedule will pose much more of a threat due to the increased competition between teams. Top ranked teams include USC, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. The Wildcats will go against Arizona State to open up their Pac-12 season, with hopes of reclaiming Arizona basketball supremacy.
This should be an almost certain win thanks to our strong projected lineup consisting of Nico Mannion, Brandon Williams, Josh Green, Ira Lee and Chase Jeter. Tougher opponents include Oregon, who was the only Pac-12 team ranked above Arizona in freshman recruiting. Oregon had six top-100 commits coming into the program, making them a formidable opponent for the Wildcats to go up against.
Colorado will also have most of their star players coming back from last year's good season-ending games. While they failed to score any major commits, the players from last year will most likely bring an upswing to the program, thus giving the Wildcats a tough matchup. Finally, Washington has landed two five-star recruits into their program. This will be one of the toughest matchups for the Wildcats.
The rest of the Pac-12 pose little to no threat to the Wildcats due to their lack of relevance with their players and recruits.
The Arizona men's basketball team will tip off their first non-conference game against NAU on Nov. 6 at 7:00 p.m. at McKale Center.