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Arizona basketball: Wildcats release 2016-17 non-conference schedule

Here’s who and when Arizona will play before Pac-12 play starts next year

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Arizona vs Wichita State Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015-16 sports season officially over, the Arizona Wildcats basketball team quickly turned the page to next year, releasing the non-conference portion of their schedule for 2016-17.

The season will get underway with the Red-Blue Game on October 14th, a Friday night affair. Arizona football happens to host the USC Trojans the following day in Arizona Stadium.

The first game of the regular season will take place in Hawai’i against Tom Izzo and Michigan State. The general public is unable to get tickets to this game that will take place on Veteran’s Day.

The regular season home schedule begins Tuesday, November 15th against Cal State Bakersfield. The Roadrunners are coming off their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance last year after winning the WAC Championship.

A couple of weeks later, Arizona goes to Orleans Arena where CSUB won that WAC title for a game against Santa Clara, then either Vanderbilt or Butler.

The Cats will have a couple more neutral site games, playing Gonzaga in STAPLES Center on Saturday December 3rd, and Texas A&M in Houston on the 17th.

Arizona’s final two home games, Grand Canyon (Dec. 14th) and New Mexico (Dec. 20th), appear to be the best two. Dan Majerle has done an exceptional job building up GCU in such a short amount of time, and the Lobos are a foe that U of A has not seen on the hardwood in a while. It’ll be nice to get them back on the schedule these next two years.

Although the best opponents will all be played on neutral sites, this is a pretty good non-conference schedule. It’ll challenge all the new pieces Arizona has, but will also give them time to get used to each other against some lesser opponents in between those challenges.