“In our model, you play a multiteam event and then basically we will have four games with a major or team title like Gonzaga, which is a home and a home match or a match on a neutral site,” Reynolds said. “This is the same model; only minus two non-conference games. This will make non-conferencing look worse but the reality is “almost the same.
The NAU game is now part of a three-year contract that will make Lumberjacks play the opposite role for each of the next three UA home openers. In their 102-year series, Wildcats and Lumberjacks have met 126 times. In recent years, they have played under a one-match contract, with games played at various points of the non-conference schedule.
As it turns out, the older brother from the UA wing who departed Josh Green, Jay Green, will be scheduled to play in the opening match next season at McKale after the graduate moves to Lumberjacks.
Arizona had played NAU eight times during the previous 11 seasons in the Sean Miller era, all at the McKale Center; The Wildcats haven’t lost to Lumberjacks since the 1968-69 season.
Arizona’s remaining two home dates are also likely to be mid-major opponents. Future changes to the NCAA rules will determine whether it is scheduled by Arizona or by the NIT Season Tip-Off as a game addition to the fixed bracket in Brooklyn.
The NIT Season Tip-Off bracket to be played during Thanksgiving week has not yet been announced, but the other three participants are Texas Tech, Cincinnati and St. John’s.
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