Arizona opens Preseason NIT vs. Fairleigh Dickinson

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona men’s basketball program will play host to Fairleigh Dickinson, Metro State and Rhode Island at McKale Center on Nov. 18 and 19 in West Regional action of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The NCAA announced the tournament field Tuesday.

The Wildcats will play Fairleigh Dickinson at 9 p.m. on Nov. 18 and, depending on its first-round results, will face either Rhode Island or Metro State at 9 p.m. the following night.

Arizona has never faced either Fairleigh Dickinson or Metro State in men’s basketball, and owns a 2-0 all-time record against Rhode Island — with the most recent meeting in 1995.

The winner of each preliminary pod will move on to the semifinals at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27. The championship and consolation games will be played at MSG on Nov. 29.

The other host teams of the four preliminary pods are Duke, Alabama and Rutgers. Click here for the complete bracket.


Arizona announced that the annual McDonald’s Red-Blue intrasquad game, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m., is sold out. This is the earliest sellout in the event’s history.

“The tremendous fan support and interest for this year’s Red-Blue Game is yet another reminder that Arizona has one of the best fan bases in all of college basketball,” UA head coach Sean Miller said. “There isn’t a better way to show past, current and future members of our program how much Arizona basketball means to its fans than packing 14,545 into McKale for a great day of basketball on October 12. Our players and staff are working hard every day to prepare for the upcoming season, and I can’t wait until the official start of practice in just under two weeks.”

The Red-Blue Game will be the first opportunity to see the 2013 team, which was ranked No. 5 in the preseason by the Sporting News, and will also be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Wildcats’ 1994 Final Four team. Members of the 1994 Final Four team will serve as judges of the day’s slam dunk contest, and will also be recognized both prior to the game and at halftime.

The Wildcats return three starters and seven letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 27-8 and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years.

Arizona also welcomes to campus the nation’s fifth-ranked recruiting class, headlined by forwards Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and guard Elliott Pitts. Point guard T.J. McConnell will suit up for UA after sitting out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.