The Arizona Wildcats have had preliminary talks about holding a basketball game in Arizona Stadium, but it won't be against New Mexico.
New Mexico coach Craig Neal first made the idea public on his radio show Monday, saying there are talks to play UA at Arizona Stadium and then return the game at The Pit, according to a tweet from the Albuquerque Journal's Geoff Grammer.
However, UA athletic director Greg Byrne said the preliminary talks are with a "couple of" schools other than New Mexico. He said he had only one conversation about such an idea with New Mexico AD Paul Krebs, whom Byrne said he thinks highly of, but that UA has no plans as of now to play the Lobos inside or outside.
"There was nothing that was even close to being done on it, so we were surprised they let it out," Byrne said. "Paul and I had one conversation about it many months ago."
Whatever the case, there’s a possibility UA plays somebody outside, probably early in a future season.
“We have some ideas within our own athletic department of trying to take advantage of the uniqueness of our fan base and the incredible weather,” UA coach Sean Miller said on today’s Pac-12 teleconference call. “That’s thrown out there. I don’t know if that will ever happen. With New Mexico, we always have a dialogue about having (a series) in the future. There’s no serious discussion.
“I don’t know if the football stadium idea will ever come to fruition. But Greg Byrne’s a very talented AD, so we are looking into it.”
Byrne said he and Miller speak regularly about scheduling and that New Mexico is one of many names that has come up. Byrne said he wasn't sure when an outside game would be played, whether for 2015-16 or beyond, but it would likely be in the very early season, when the weather is most consistent.
Miller was asked if the Wildcats are looking for payback Wednesday against Cal, after suffering their first loss of the season on Feb. 1. His answer was not surprising.
“I don’t really believe that’s the case," he said. "We respect Cal a great deal and on that night they were better than we were, and Justin Cobbs hit a great shot to win it. The game could have gone either way, but Cal has a great combination of a great coach and really experienced players, and that shows in how well they’ve played on the road.”
Colorado coach Tad Boyle, on the difference in the Arizona he saw at McKale Center last month and on Saturday in Boulder:
“I see a pride and a grit and a determination from their entire organization,” Boyle said. “It’s hard to put into words how good they are defensively and how much pride they take in stopping people.”