TUCSON, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team travels south to Tucson Saturday to face the Arizona Wildcats in a regionally-televised game on Fox Sports Arizona at the McKale Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
NAU and Arizona will be meeting for the 121st time in school history with Arizona leading the all-time series with NAU 93-27. Arizona has won the last 27 meetings between the schools. It is the second-most games against any opponent for the Lumberjacks next to the Arizona State series. The Lumberjacks last win over UA came in 1968-69 season. The two schools played regularly when both were members of the Border Conference often matching up to four times each season.
Head Coach Mike Adras has dubbed NAU "Arizona's team" with the Lumberjacks playing games in Flagstaff, Prescott Valley, Tempe and Tucson this season
Last season Arizona got a scare before holding on to a 63-58 win over NAU. The Wildcats overcame an eight-point second half deficit to win in the closest game in the series since 1978.
The Wildcats are 5-2 on the season after a win at New Mexico State on Tuesday. UA slipped from the national rankings following last Wednesday's loss to San Diego State. The Cats were ranked 16th in both 2011-12 preseason polls, marking the first time that UA opened the year with a national ranking since 2007-08.
NAU (2-5) is coming off a loss to Brigham Young on Wednesday but Adras believes the game will help his young team in the tough environment of McKale.
"I think it will help our guys," said Adras. "The game against BYU will help us going into the McKale Center. I don't think if we had gone there first we probably would not be ready for that environment and that level of an opponent. I am hoping we will be better having that taste."
Despite the 30-point loss to the Cougars, Adras said his team improved in the contest.
"There were a lot of positives that came out of (the BYU game)," said Adras." I think we took a step in the right direction. I want to see another step on Saturday night. I was pleased with a lot of things that occurred."
Freshman Colby Weaver, a walk-on to the program from Salpoointe Catholic High School, could see action in his hometown against the Wildcats. He has seen action in 13 minutes over three games this season. He was a two-time all-region and all-city selection, averaging 19 points, two rebounds and nine assists per game. He set a Salpointe school record for points in a quarter with 22 against Rincon in the third quarter, finishing with 38 points in a game played in McKale Center.
The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona and online via The Big Talker website and their mobile app.