Arizona head coach Adia Barnes has been working to upgrade the Wildcats’ 2021-22 non-conference schedule. Now the team knows which weekends it will face its conference opponents in the always formidable Pac-12.
The conference announced its weekly pairings and sites on Thursday. The teams will return to an 18-game conference slate after going to 22 games last season. This will be the final year for that arrangement before women’s basketball follows the lead of the men’s teams by scheduling 20 conference games beginning in 2022-23.
With the unbalanced schedule, each team misses one matchup with four other conference foes. For the Wildcats, that means they will not get to host Stanford or California, while the Wildcats will not travel to Colorado and Utah.
Missing the home-and-home series with the Cardinal is a missed opportunity for the Wildcats, the Pac-12, and women’s basketball, in general. It means that Arizona fans will not get to see a rematch of last year’s national title game in McKale Center. With a huge increase in season ticket sales, it puts the Wildcats at a disadvantage to get to face Stanford only once and only in Maples Pavilion. It also deprives the conference and the sport of a matchup that would be attractive to national TV audiences.
Arizona will also return to the practice of playing Arizona State twice in one week. The last time the Wildcats and the Sun Devils held their home-and-home series over a single week was the 2017-18 season.
After playing a non-conference slate that features a neutral court game against Texas in Las Vegas, another neutral court battle against Louisville in South Dakota, and a trip to the loaded Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Wildcats will kick off Pac-12 play on the road against UCLA and USC.
The full conference slate is as follows:
- Dec. 30, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022 at UCLA and USC
- Jan. 7-9 vs. Washington and Washington State
- Jan. 14-16 at Oregon and Oregon State
- Jan. 21-23 vs Colorado and Utah
- Jan. 28-30 at California and Stanford
- Feb. 4-6 vs Oregon and Oregon State
- Feb. 11-13 home and away vs Arizona State
- Feb. 18-20 at Washington and Washington State
- Feb. 24-26 vs UCLA and USC
After the completion of the conference season, the teams will meet in Las Vegas once again for the 2022 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament. The tournament will be held from Mar. 2 through Mar. 6 at Mandalay Bay.
Final dates and times will be announced after TV selections have been made. Some games may shift from the Pac-12’s normal Friday/Sunday dates to accommodate those television selections.