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Arizona finalizes 2018-19 schedule, will host Houston Baptist to open season

NCAA Basketball: Cal. State - Bakersfield at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats released their non-conference schedule last week, but there was one key component missing: an opponent for their season-opener.

Well, they have found one in Houston Baptist, UA director of basketball operations Ryan Reynolds told Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star.

Arizona will host HBU on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Here is why it took so long for UA to find an opponent, per Pascoe:

The Wildcats were waiting on an opponent to be assigned by the Maui Invitational as a play-in game -- in order to play the maximum of four games in the Maui multi-team event -- but Reynolds said UA and a number of other high-major teams received a waiver to schedule their own games because there weren’t enough interested/available opponents for them.

Houston Baptist was one of the worst teams in college basketball last season. It went 6-25, including a 2-16 mark in the Southland Conference. KenPom rated the Huskies as the No. 333 team (of 351) in the country last season. However, they do return four of five starters, so maybe they will be better this year.

No matter, Houston Baptist will kick off what is an underwhelming home non-conference schedule for the Wildcats. The toughest opponents venturing to McKale Center are Baylor and Montana. But they do face UConn and Alabama on the road, plus Iowa State and potentially Gonzaga and Duke in the Maui Invitational, so they will still be challenged quite a bit before conference play begins in early January.

Arizona’s entire schedule can be found below. Keep in mind that the Pac-12 has only released the conference schedule pairings for now, so the exact dates are unknown.


  • Oct. 14 — Red-Blue Game
  • Oct. 30 — vs. Western New Mexico (exhibition)
  • Nov. 4 — vs. Chaminade (exhibition)
  • Nov. 7 — vs. Houston Baptist
  • Nov. 11 — vs. Cal Poly
  • Nov. 14 — vs. UTEP
  • Nov. 19 — vs. Iowa State (Maui Invitational)
  • Nov. 20 — TBD (Maui Invitational)
  • Nov. 21 — TBD (Maui Invitational)
  • Nov. 28 — vs. Texas Southern
  • Dec. 2 — at UConn
  • Dec. 6 — vs. Utah Valley
  • Dec. 9 — at Alabama
  • Dec. 15 — vs. Baylor
  • Dec. 19 — vs. Montana
  • Dec. 22 — vs. UC Davis

Pac-12 pairings

Week of Jan. 2-6

Colorado/Utah at Arizona

Week of Jan. 9-13

Arizona at California/Stanford

Week of Jan. 16-20

Oregon/Oregon State at Arizona

Week of Jan. 23-27

Arizona at UCLA/USC

Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3

Arizona at Arizona State

Week of Feb. 6-10

Washington/Washington State at Arizona

Week of Feb. 13-17

Arizona at Colorado/Utah

Week of Feb. 20-24

California/Stanford at Arizona

Week of Feb. 27-March 3

Arizona at Oregon/Oregon State

Week of March 6-9

Arizona State at Arizona