Winning a tournament in November has been part of Arizona’s preseason the last two seasons, but this year the Wildcats opted to back out of a previous commitment to play in the Wooden Legacy. Instead, they’ve lined up a quality opponent for a holiday game in the desert.
Arizona will face Michigan State in Palm Springs, Calif., on Thanksgiving (Nov. 23), the school officially announced Monday. The Acrisure Classic will air on Fox and scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. MT tip, coming on after the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions (which means it will air during the Dallas Cowboys/Washington Commanders game on CBS).
The game is technically part of a two-game event for the UA and MSU, both of whom will face another opponent on campus. That matchup is TBD.
Arizona and Michigan State have played seven times, with the UA holding a 5-2 edge. The most recent meeting also came on a holiday, with the Wildcats edging the Spartans on Veterans’ Day in 2016 in Honolulu in the Armed Forces Classic.
MSU, which reached the Sweet 16 in March, is set to return key veterans Malik Hall and Tyson Walker.
This is one of at least three high-profile nonconference games Arizona has lined up for 2023-24, along with an opening-week visit to Duke and a reported Dec. 20 clash with Alabama in Phoenix.
2023-24 Arizona MBB schedule (so far)
Nov. 6 vs. Morgan State
Nov. 10 at Duke
Nov. 19 vs. opponent TBD
Nov. 23 vs. Michigan State (Palm Springs)
Dec. 20 vs. Alabama (Phoenix)
TBD at Southern