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The most important sports dates of the spring

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Jose Toro | The Daily Wildcat The McKale Center shortly before the UA v California meet on Jan. 26.

With the start of the spring semester comes several key dates and important matchups for Arizona Athletics. Here’s a look at some of the significant games you should attend this season.


Men’s basketball:

Feb. 8 — UCLA

Even though UCLA isn’t as good as they have been in years past, any time these two teams get together, expect a close and competitive game. It’ll also be the first time that former Arizona commit Shareef O’Neal comes back to McKale Center.

Feb. 22 — Oregon

Arizona took the top-10 ranked Ducks to overtime but eventually fell by one. This game could potentially decide who wins the Pac-12 regular season championship. Obviously it’s still early, but these two teams are the best two in the conference.

March 7 — Washington — Senior Day

Even though it’s called “Senior Day,” this will be the last game for many Wildcats who aren’t seniors. Nico Mannion has already made it clear he’s planning to leave. Zeke Nnaji and Josh Green are also expected to be first round draft picks, so they might leave as well.

March 11 — Pac-12 Tournament

If Arizona is a top-four seed in the Pac-12, they will actually start the tournament on March 12, but expect a lot of Wildcat fans to make the trip. This year’s tournament should be competitive, with several teams expected to be battling for the championship.


Women’s basketball:

Jan. 24 — ASU

Arizona took down the Sun Devils in Tempe to open conference play. Since then, ASU has beaten both Oregon and Oregon State while Arizona lost to both of them. 

Jan. 31 — UCLA

The Pac-12 is a really deep women’s basketball conference and UCLA is another top-10 team that will come to McKale Center. UCLA beat Arizona earlier this year to give the Wildcats their first loss since last season.

Feb. 28 — Stanford

Add Stanford to the list of top-10 teams in the country that’ll come to McKale Center this year. This will be one of Arizona’s last home stands of the year before the Pac-12 tournament.

March 5 — Pac-12 Tournament

The tournament this year should be really interesting. It’ll be in Las Vegas again. No one really expects Arizona to win the whole thing, but it would really help their NCAA tournament seeding if the Wildcats are able to pull off an upset or two.

RELATED: Arizona women's basketball drops heartbreaker to Oregon State


Baseball:

Feb. 14 — Albany Opening Day

Arizona baseball will open up its ninth season at Hi Corbett Field. The Wildcats are 9-0 in the opening day games at Hi Corbett Field.     

March 13-15 — Oregon State

This will be the first series that Arizona associate head coach Nate Yeskie will coach against his former team. Yeskie spent 11 seasons as the Beavers’ pitching coach before joining Arizona’s coaching staff this season. The Wildcats are 3-7 in their last 10 games against Oregon State. 

April 24-26 — ASU

Arizona will host a weekend series against their in-state rivals. ASU won all four games against Arizona last season. 

May 8-10 — UCLA

Another important matchup will come days before finals week as the defending Pac-12 champions come to Tucson for a three-game series. Arizona went 0-3 against the Bruins last season.   

May 16 — Penn State — Senior Day

The 2020 home schedule will come to a close with a pre-game ceremony celebrating the 2020 senior class of Nate Brown, Vince Vannelle, Preston Price and Davis Vainer.


Softball:

Feb. 14  — Long Beach State— home opener

This will be the 27th home opener for the Wildcats in Hillenbrand Stadium and their second year playing in the newly-renovated softball stadium.  

Feb. 15 — Oklahoma

The 2019 Women’s College World Series runner-up will come to Tucson for a one-game regular season showdown. Arizona’s top pitching transfer, Mariah Lopez, will play against her former team for the first time this year. Lopez went 19-1 with a 1.25 ERA in her junior year with the Sooners. 

Feb. 18 — USA National Team

Star catcher Dejah Mulipola will make her return to Hillenbrand Stadium, but she won’t be wearing a Wildcat uniform this time. Instead, Mulipola will be representing the USA National Team to play the Arizona Wildcats before competing in this year’s 2020 Olympics. 

March 28 — Mexican National Team

The 2020 Mexican national team will also be joining the USA team in traveling to Tucson for a tune-up game in March. 

April 24-26 — UCLA

The Wildcats will have a chance at redemption this year when they play host to the UCLA Bruins. UCLA defeated Arizona in the 2019 Women’s College World Series to send them to the loser’s bracket while the Bruins went on to win the 2019 National Championship. Arizona and UCLA have more national championships than any other school in the country, with the Bruins at 12 and Arizona at eight.


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