Arizona men’s basketball is officially heading back to the Bahamas.
Arizona was formally named to the 2024 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis field, which also includes Creighton, Davidson, Gonzaga, Indiana, Louisville, Oklahoma and West Virginia. The tournament will take place on Thanksgiving week next year from Nov. 27-29.
This is Arizona’s second trip to the tournament, which is held in the Imperial Arena located at Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas.
Arizona previously competed in the 2017 tournament, where it went 0-3 despite entering the event ranked No. 2 in the nation. That year the Wildcats were led by star freshman and Bahamas native Deandre Ayton.
Arizona’s program has of course undergone tremendous change since then, namely at head coach.
Under Tommy Lloyd, Arizona has adopted aggressive non-conference scheduling, which will continue next season. In addition to the Battle 4 Atlantis, Arizona already has games scheduled against several high major programs.
The Wildcats will face Wisconsin in Madison on Nov. 15, Duke in Tucson on Nov. 21, Alabama in Birmingham on Dec. 18 and Purdue in Las Vegas at a to-be-determined date. All four games are the backend of matchups played this season.
The Battle 4 Atlantis should provide the Wildcats with a couple good tests as well. Creighton and Gonzaga are top 25 programs, while Indiana is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Arizona has previously beaten Creighton and Indiana under Lloyd.
A matchup against Gonzaga would be the first time Lloyd goes head to head with his mentor Mark Few, unless Arizona and Gonzaga meet in this season’s NCAA Tournament.
West Virginia could also be an interesting matchup. For one, the Wildcats and Mountaineers will be Big 12 opponents next season. And it’s possible Kerr Kriisa could be with West Virginia if he uses his final year of eligibility.
Wouldn’t that be fun?