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What Arizona’s McKale Center schedule could look like if fall sports are played in the spring

USC v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

In case you missed it, the Ivy League postponed fall sports on Wednesday because of the coronavirus crisis, but left the door open to resume them in the spring.

If they do, and the rest of Division I eventually follows suit, facility space could be an issue across the country.

In the Arizona Wildcats’ case, they would have to host men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics events in the same semester.

Wednesday, I detailed six venues Arizona could use if McKale Center cannot house every indoor competition, but it might not have to come down to that if they schedule wisely, as you’ll see below.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is that Arizona volleyball and women’s basketball both normally play Pac-12 games on Fridays and Sundays. In order to avoid overlaps or making wholesale changes to the conference schedule, volleyball would need to be on the road any time women’s basketball is at home (and vice versa).

Men’s basketball can play conference games on Thursdays and Saturdays like usual, and gymnastics, which only has one event per week, can fill in some of the open dates.

Got that? Good.

Put it all together and here’s what Pac-12 weekends could look like in McKale Center:

Weekend A if MBB and VB are travel partners

  • Thursday: Men’s basketball
  • Friday: Volleyball
  • Saturday: Men’s basketball
  • Sunday: Volleyball

Weekend B if MBB and VB are travel partners

  • Thursday: Open
  • Friday: Women’s basketball
  • Saturday: Gymnastics
  • Sunday: Women’s basketball

Weekend A if MBB and WBB are travel partners

  • Thursday: Men’s basketball
  • Friday: Women’s basketball
  • Saturday: Men’s basketball
  • Sunday: Women’s basketball

(From an operations standpoint this seems ideal since the McKale basketball court could stay intact between events.)

Weekend B if MBB and WBB are travel partners

  • Thursday: Open
  • Friday: Volleyball
  • Saturday: Gymnastics
  • Sunday: Volleyball

In the non-conference season (if there would even be one), early-week games (which WBB already plays anyway) can be used to prevent overlaps. So could weekend doubleheaders, though Sunday doubleheaders probably aren’t feasible for travel purposes.

Volleyball typically hosts two multi-team tournaments in the non-conference season, which usually take place Friday and Saturday, and maybe that’s an instance where Arizona would rent Tucson Arena for the weekend, assuming the Tucson Roadrunners and Tucson Sugar Skulls don’t already have dibs.

Otherwise, here’s what it could look like if all four indoor sports are in McKale in the same week of the non-conference season:

  • Tuesday: Women’s basketball
  • Wednesday: Men’s basketball
  • Thursday: Volleyball (Day 1 of tournament)
  • Friday: Volleyball (Day 2 of tournament)
  • Saturday: Men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader
  • Sunday: Gymnastics

Divvying up practice times during the week could be even trickier since volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball share McKale Center and Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, and McKale could be hosting games in the evening. Class schedules come into play too, though maybe that becomes moot if lectures are fully online.

There could also be a scenario in which at least one of these sports—probably volleyball or gymnastics—holds off on starting its conference season until March when the basketball regular season is over. (Basketball would probably get priority scheduling since it’s the most common D1 sport, as well as a revenue sport.)

Keep in mind that Arizona could be hosting outdoor events like football, baseball, softball and soccer at the same time, so please send your thoughts and prayers to UA’s event staff.

And Arizona actually has it easy compared to schools like ASU, where lacrosse and soccer share a venue just as men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball do.

Either way, it’s a tough time to work in college sports.