Wisconsin men's basketball team sets home-and-home series with Arizona

Badgers will play in Tucson in 2023 and host Wildcats in 2024

The Wisconsin men’s basketball team announced on May 22 that it has agreed to a home-and-home series with Arizona, adding an exciting matchup to its schedule for both the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

The Badgers are scheduled to travel to Tucson to face the Wildcats on Dec. 9. Arizona is set to make its first-ever appearance in Madison for a matchup at the Kohl Center on Nov. 15, 2024.

“We’re really excited to get this great home-and-home series with Arizona,” head coach Greg Gard said. “We’ve had some memorable matchups in recent years with the Wildcats, and we’re looking forward to adding on to what has been a great series.

“Part of what makes college basketball so great is having big-time games in on-campus venues, and I love that we can schedule these for the fans in Tucson and Madison. We’ve always tried to challenge our team in the nonconference, and facing a program like Arizona will certainly help prepare us for the rigorous Big Ten.”

Wisconsin holds a 5-2 all-time series lead over Arizona, having won three straight games that includes back-to-back NCAA tournament wins over the Wildcats in 2014 and 2015. The Badgers also earned a 65-61 win over Arizona in the 2009 Maui Invitational.

The two programs have also played games in Philadelphia (2006), Salt Lake City (2000) and Los Angeles (1966). The first-ever meeting in the all-time series dates back to a 1962 matchup in Arizona, which remains the only on-campus meeting between the two programs.

Last season, Arizona finished with a 28-7 overall record, winning the Pac-12 Tournament before securing a No. 2 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats return first-team All-Pac 12 center Oumar Ballo, who averaged 14.2 points and 8.6 rebounds last year, along with Pac-12 All-Freshman honoree Kylan Boswell and guard Pelle Larsson. Arizona is led by Tommy Lloyd, the 2022 Associated Press National Coach of the Year, who holds a 61-11 career record coaching two seasons at Arizona.

Wisconsin returns a number of its rotation players in 2023-24, including its entire starting five, from a team that advanced to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinals last season in Las Vegas. All-Big Ten honorable mention point guard Chucky Hepburn, All-Big Ten freshman Connor Essegian, fifth-year senior Tyler Wahl, Steven Crowl and Max Klesmit all return after starting last year. Gard, a two-time Big Ten coach of the year, begins his ninth season leading the Badgers in 2023-24.