Posted on September 28, 2020
In this 12-part series, I look at what makes each facility unique, and recount some of the key moments and stats* in the Pac-12 Era. We continue in this fourth installment with Arizona’s McKale Center.
Overall Record: 135-18
Overall Conference Record: 67-14
Overall Nonconference Record: 68-4
Since 2011-12, Sean Miller has guided his program to nonconference victories over No. 5 Florida, No. 9 Gonzaga, Michigan, Texas Tech, and UConn en route to a 68-4 nonconference mark. The four defeats came from No. 6 Gonzaga in 2019, Baylor in 2018, San Diego State in 2011, and Bucknell in the 2012 NIT.
Within the Conference, the Cats are 67-14 including a victory over No. 3 Arizona State in 2017. Utah, USC, Stanford, Oregon State, and Colorado are winless in the building. And Arizona State, California, and Washington State have just a single victory.
UCLA and Oregon, however, have figured out how to win in the desert confine. Both the Bruins and Ducks are 4-3 during the Pac-12 Era, and the Wildcats have failed to beat either program when they enter the building ranked in the Top 25.
Washington has had similar success, posting a 3-4 mark during the period.
Still, when ranked in the Top 25, the Cats are a jaw-dropping 107-9 at McKale Center. Of the 153 games played in Tucson, Miller’s squad was ranked in 116 of them (75%).
Arizona is the only team in the Pac-12 to take the floor at it’s home arena ranked No. 1 in the nation during the Pac-12 Era. The Cats played 8 games from 2013-14 ranked as the top squad in the country, going 8-0 over that stretch.
The arena has been the site of 10 matchups between ranked teams. In those games, the Wildcats are 6-4 with the defeats coming at the hands of No. 5 UCLA in 2017, No. 6 Gonzaga in 2019, No. 14 Oregon in 2020, and No. 23 Oregon in 2016.
There has been just a single game against a Top 25 opponent when Arizona was unranked. Last season, Miller and company defeated No. 20 Colorado as an unranked program.
However, the absence of an Arizona victory over a ranked UCLA or Oregon team is a tell-tale sign of the recent trend in the two rivalries. The Cats have even dropped three games to unranked Bruin squads.
The 14-point loss to Washington State in 2019 is arguably the sole shocking defeat in the Era, though the 11-point loss to Bucknell in the 2012 NIT is similarly head-scratching.
Putting all that aside, there’s no denying that McKale Center is one of the toughest, if not the toughest, road game for every team in the Pac-12. The hostile environment is notoriously unwelcoming to opposing fans, and the Cats historically back it up with victories.
Records vs. Top 25 and When Ranked
Record vs. Top 25: 7-4
Record vs. Top 25 When Unranked: 1-0
Record vs. Top 25 When Ranked: 6-4
Record When Ranked: 107-9
Highest Home-Game Rankings
Highest Ranking for Home Game: No. 1 (2013-2014)
Victory over Highest Ranked Team: No. 3 Arizona State (2017)
Highest Ranked Opponent: No. 3 Arizona State (2017)
Noteworthy Conference Wins: No. 3 Arizona State (2017); No. 8 Utah (2015); No. 20 Colorado (2020); No. 23 USC (2016); No. 25 California (2016)
Noteworthy Nonconference Wins: No. 5 Florida (2012); No. 9 Gonzaga (2014); Michigan (2014); Texas Tech (2013); UConn (2017); Missouri (2015); Illinois (2019); UNLV (2013, 2015)
Bucknell by 11 (2012 NIT)
Washington State by 14 (2019)
Record of Pac-12 Teams at McKale Center
UCLA : 4-3
Washington State: 1-6
Arizona State: 1-8
Oregon State: 0-7
*Stats for Pac-12 Era only, courtesy sports-reference.com.
USC’s Galen Center
—Recent Dane Miller Stories—
- Miller: Utes Must Find Key Replacements to Remain Competitive in 2020
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Cal’s Haas Pavilion
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Stanford’s Maples Pavilion
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: USC’s Galen Center
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Arizona State’s Desert Financial Arena
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Colorado’s CU Events Center
- Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Utah’s John M. Huntsman Center
- Miller Mailbag: Weather Games, COVID-19 & Recruiting, UA Media Bias, and More
- Dane Miller: Lute Olson Changed Lives, Redefined Tucson as Basketball Family
- Miller: Pac-12 Coaches, Players & Fans Deserved Better
- Stanford Needs Talented Newcomers to Step Up
- Experienced Bears Poised to Contend for North Division Title
- Youth Movement Key to Breakthrough Season for Wildcats
- 2020 SportsPac12 Southwest/Mountain All-Region Team
- Q&A with Pac-12 VP of Marketing Heather Vaughan
- If New Offense Takes, Sun Devils will Do Damage in South
- Miller Mailbag: International Restrictions Won’t Affect Arizona Hoops Players
- Rolovich’s Revamped Cougars Must Hit the Ground Running
- A Little Offense will go a Long Way with Dominant Dawg ‘D’
- DTR, Defense Keys to Make-or-Break Season for Bruins
- USC Readying for Return to National Prominence
- Oregon State Chasing First Bowl Berth in 7 Years
- Pac-12 Favorite Oregon Eyeing Return to CFB Playoff
- Writers Roundtable: The Status of College Football
- 2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Status, Part 3
- 2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Status Report, Part 2
- 2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Status Report, Part 1
- Miller Mailbag: Projecting 2020-21 NCAA Tournament Teams
- Miller: 2020 Pac-12 NFL Draft Preview & Analysis
- Mailbag: Conference Game Losers & Bowl Results
- Miller: Pac-12 Early NBA Draft Entrants Analysis
- Q&A with Pac-12 Director of Communications Jesse Hooker
- Miller: 2018-19 Pac-12 Football Revenue Analysis
- Miller Mailbag: Utes Will Contend for Title in South
- Miller: NCAA’s Quick Decision Raises Questions
- Miller: Second-Round Tournament Preview
- Miller: First-Round Tournament Preview
- Miller: Ducks & Bruins Rise to Top of Pac-12
- Miller: ASU takes Control of the Conference
Miller: Utes Must Find Key Replacements to Remain Competitive in 2020Utah's fate will depend on how well it reloads on both sides of the ball - October 19, 2020
Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Cal’s Haas PavilionA look at the history, characteristics, and some key stats of each facility - October 11, 2020
Scouting the Pac-12 Basketball Arenas: Stanford’s Maples PavilionA look at the history, characteristics, and some key stats of each facility - October 9, 2020