After months of planning, three conference calls and an on-site walk-through with producers in December, Arizona is all but ready to host the ESPN GameDay crew Saturday for the first time ever in basketball.

Just about the only thing left to do is scoot the GameDay stage on to the center of Lute and Bobbi Olson Court and that can’t happen until well after the Wildcats face Washington State on Thursday night.

“Their stage sets up and goes out on the court pretty quickly,” said Suzy Mason, UA’s associate AD for event management.

The GameDay bus is scheduled to arrive Friday, and it will be parked on the north McKale Center lawn in order to maximize exposure for sponsor State Farm.

Inside McKale, ESPN will handle the setup and necessary backdrops. The stage will be at center court, facing west, and sections 2-4 will be the primary seating areas for fans.

The GameDay crew will have two rooms at McKale to use for interviews and other preparation. Also, since the UA women’s basketball team will be out of town, the crew will be able to rest in their locker room.

Arizona, which hosted GameDay in November 2009 for football, received the nod this time for basketball as a prelude for UA’s game with Washington. There will be a morning studio show and an afternoon pregame show aired Saturday from McKale.

Get more details in Tuesday's Arizona Daily Star.