No. 4 Arizona Basketball faces tough challenge with No. 14 FAU in 'Desert Classic'

Nov 26, 2023; Kissimmee, FL, USA;  Florida Atlantic Owls guard Alijah Martin (15) is subbed out of
Nov 26, 2023; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls guard Alijah Martin (15) is subbed out of / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS, NV – Wrapping up its non-conference schedule, No. 4 Arizona Basketball (9-1) faces a tough challenge against No. 14 FAU (9-2) in the Desert Classic.

Fresh off a win over Alabama on Wednesday, No. 4 Arizona Basketball returns to the hardwood to close out arguably the toughest non-conference schedule that they have had in the past 10 years.

Traveling to the favorable location of Las Vegas, NV, the Wildcats conclude its non-conference schedule with another tough battle, this time against No. 14 FAU.

Coming in, Arizona is favored; however, they will be tested quite a bit in this one as FAU is a very skilled and talented team that virtually returns the same personnel from the team that made a Final Four run last season.

We see this one being a battle to the end, and for Arizona to come away victorious, they are going to have to play a clean game and will need to negate the Owl's strong guard play if they are to get the win.

Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one, and earn yet another big win to add to its strong resume!

Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the No. 14 Florida Atlantic Owls.

Team: Florida Atlantic Owls

Conference: American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Current Record: 9–2

Head Coach: Dusty May. A graduate of Indiana, Coach May enters his 6th season as head coach of the Owls where he has compiled a 110–62 (52–34) record overall with three postseason tournament appearances (1 NCAA) and a Final Four finish in 2022-23.

2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with an impressive 35–4 (18–2) record. The Owls finished 1st Place in their last year in Conference USA before putting together an impressive NCAA Tournament run where they made it to the Final Four.

Unfortunately, FAU would lose to eventual NCAA Runner-up San Diego State by a 72-71 final.

So with Arizona Basketball taking on Florida Atlantic, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!

Arizona Basketball vs Florida Atlantic Information and Details:

Date: Saturday, December 23, 2023

Time: 1:00 P.M. MST / 12:00 P.M. PST

Television: Fox

Location: T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas (18,000)

Spread: -8.0 Arizona (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Overall Series Record: 1-0 Arizona. Having met just once previously in their collective history, Arizona currently holds the 1-0 lead over Florida Atlantic.

Last Meeting: Arizona beat the Owls 75-62 in 2008 in Tucson as part of their non-conference slate of games that season. Chase Budinger led all Wildcat scorers with 21 points on 7-12 (2-5) shooting.

Arizona Basketball Game Preview:

After getting back on track with a big win over Alabama on Wednesday evening, the Wildcats are back in action to take on No. 14 Florida Atlantic.

Coming in, the Wildcats will be tested significantly, as FAU is a well-coached team and returns virtually the same team that went to the Final Four last season.

Traveling just up the road to Las Vegas (aka Wildcat Country), Arizona will be in familiar territory as they take on a talented squad.

A fast and athletic team, FAU likes to push the tempo and get up and down the court, averaging 83.5 points per game. They are also a good shooting team, averaging 50.8 percent from the field, including 38.4 percent from three.

FAU has skilled guards, with most of its offense going through Johnell Davis, Alijah Martin, and Bryan Greenlee. Once again, Arizona is going to have to limit FAU's guards as much as possible.

Beyond that, FAU has a skilled big with Vladislav Goldin. He will test Oumar Ballo down low, and should he get into foul trouble early, Goldin could have a big day.

If Arizona can continue to execute defensively, take care of the basketball, and not get into early foul trouble, I think the Wildcats should be able to win this one!

But once again, we should be in store for another good non-conference matchup, and the Owls will present a tough challenge for Arizona. Hopefully, Arizona will be ready to go in this one!

Tip-off on Saturday is set for 1:00 P.M. Tucson time with the game being broadcasted on Fox!

Must Read. Cracks in the armor: Takeaways from No. 4 Arizona Basketball's close call against Alabama. Cracks in the armor: Takeaways from No. 4 Arizona Basketball's close call against Alabama. dark

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