TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini today announced her team’s schedule for the 2005-06 season, and it includes three televised games and 12 games against eight teams that participated in the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
Arizona has three televised games ?- Jan. 8 at USC, Jan. 14 at home against Oregon and Jan. 22 at California ?- each of which will be aired live on FSN. In addition, the Wildcats’ game at home against Stanford on Feb. 18 and on the road against Arizona State on Feb. 25, are Wild Card selections in the Pacific-10 television package and thus could get picked up by FSN.
The Wildcats open the season Nov. 18 at home against Loyola Marymount before heading to Anchorage, Alaska, for the Great Alaska Shootout. Arizona then returns to McKale Center to close out November with a game against Utah, a team that last year advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona opens December with the 14th annual Wildcat Classic. This year’s field includes Chicago State, Lehigh and Tulane. The Wildcats have claimed the championship of the tournament in each of the last three seasons.
The Wildcats then hit the road for a three-game road swing against Maryland, Fresno State and UC Santa Barbara, all of which played in the postseason last year.
The challenging conference slate begins in late December just before the holiday break. As a conference, the Pac-10 finished last season ranked as the third toughest conference in the nation after sending five teams to the NCAA Tournament.
"Last season was the first time in a number of years that the Pac-10 got five teams into the NCAA Tournament," Bonvicini says. "The competition is as tough as it’s ever been and I only expect it to continue. It will make for a tough conference season. Every game will be difficult, both at home and on the road."
Arizona opens Pac-10 play at home on Dec. 22 against Arizona State, followed by another pair of homes games against the Washington schools to close out 2005.
The Wildcats open 2006 with a Jan. 3 non-conference game against Wisconsin-Green Bay before hitting the road to face the L.A. schools Jan. 6 and 8.
After hosting the Oregon schools Jan. 12 and 14, Arizona plays four-straight road games ?- at Stanford, Cal, Washington and Washington State ?- to close out January.
The Wildcats open February at home against USC and UCLA, followed by games at Oregon and Oregon State. After closing out its regular-season home schedule with Cal and Stanford, Arizona concludes the regular season on the road in Tempe at instate rival Arizona State.
The Pac-10 Tournament will again be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The 2006 tournament runs March 3-6.
McKale Center will then serve as host to NCAA Tournament first- and second-round games March 18 and 20. Should the Wildcats make the tournament, they will play in Tucson. "Since we’re hosting, we obviously want to be playing in the NCAA Tournament," Bonvicini explains. "The season is long. We need to take it one game at a time."
The complete 2005-06 Arizona women’s basketball schedule can be found at www.arizonaathletics.com.