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Arizona basketball: Cal State Bakersfield and Sacred Heart await the Wildcats

Arizona to host mid-majors at McKale this week

Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners v New Mexico State Aggies Photo by John Gurzinski/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats open their 2016-17 home schedule by hosting a pair of mid-majors. Both games are scheduled to tip at 8 PM MT on Pac-12 Network.

Here’s a glance at this week’s opponents:

Cal-State Bakersfield - Tuesday

California State Bakersfield (CSUB) expects to build off its successful 2016 campaign after winning the WAC Tournament Championship in dramatic fashion. The Roadrunners (1-0) clubbed San Diego Christian 96-54 in Saturday’s season opener behind Shon Briggs’ 21 points.

CSUB returns three of its starting five, that include last year’s hero, senior Dedrick Basile. The junior hit the buzzer beater to send the Roadrunners to their first NCAA Tournament and was named WAC Tournament MVP. Basile finished 2016 with an average of 12 points and is named to this season’s Lou Henson Preseason Watch List, the award for the best mid-major player in the nation.

He also patrols the on-campus parking garage.

Another CSUB scoring threat is redshirt senior Jaylin Airington, who averaged 10 points a game and shot 31.8 percent behind the three-point arc last season. Airington was a member of the all-WAC Tournament team last year and boasted that he went 423-for-539 in shooting practice on his twitter account. He also has a pretty impressive recruiting video.

Sacred Heart - Friday

Arizona will host Sacred Heart (0-1) in a tune-up before the two schools head up north for the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament over Thanksgiving. The Pioneers will travel roughly 2,500 miles to Tucson from Fairfield, Connecticut.

Sacred Heart fell 85-63 to Fairfield on Friday despite a team-high 25 points by guard Quincy McKnight, the team’s biggest scoring and rebounding threat. The sophomore has some hops, a mix-tape highlight reel and goes by #YOUNGSAVAGE on twitter.

Before heading west, the Pioneers will open their home schedule against Hofstra on Tuesday.

Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic school that was founded in 1963. This year’s enrollment tops out at 8,532 students, of which 800 student-athletes fill out its 32 Division-I teams. Sacred Heart currently as an alumni base over 38,000 that is headlined by bad energy blocker Kevin Nealon and actress Lydia Marie Hearst-Shaw.