UA to face Utah behind the curtains

2010-10-03T10:36:00Z 2010-10-03T10:54:53Z UA to face Utah behind the curtainsBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

There's a two-week hole on Arizona's basketball schedule after the Oct. 24 Red-Blue game but it won't be completely filled with practices.

For the first time ever, the Wildcats will take advantage of an  NCAA rule allowing teams to play private exhibitions against Division I teams this season when it hosts Utah this fall.

The game will be held at Arizona between Oct. 24 and UA's Nov. 7 exhibition against Augustana College, though it is off limits to fans and media.

Arizona has normally hosted two exhibition games before the fans every fall, generating maximum ticket revenue, but Sean Miller said UA has enough home games this season to  meet the season-ticket requirements. By playing Utah, the Wildcats will face a better team and presumably have more of a learning experience than they would in a regular exhibition game, which are now limited to non-Division I teams.

Previously, D-I teams could schedule exhibitions against all-star-type teams with veteran former college players -- many  of whom were competitive -- but those are no longer allowed in part because of the possibility that colleges could gain recruiting advantages with those teams who were affiliated with elite high school travel teams.

So now D-I teams are left with the option of scheduling D-II teams for potential blowouts in front of the fans or scheduling D-I teams without fans.

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