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Tue., July 5, 2011, 4:23 p.m.

Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs

Gonzaga and Butler have talked about playing each other for at least a couple of years. The coaches, Gonzaga's Mark Few and Butler's Brad Stevens, are friends who frequently visited by phone last season.

So it seems to make sense that the two schools from non-power conferences who embrace taking on college basketball's elite will tangle in a two-game series. The Indianapolis Star reported that Butler will visit Spokane this December, followed by GU visiting Hinkle Fieldhouse the following season.

Gonzaga hasn't released its schedule for the upcoming season and typically doesn't until it has dates/TV contracts firmed up.

More below.

This will run in Wednesday's S-R:

Gonzaga and Butler, two programs never shy about taking on college basketball’s biggest names, have decided to take on each other.

The schools have agreed to a two-game series, beginning with Butler visiting Spokane this December. Gonzaga will play at Butler’s famed Hinkle Fieldhouse the following season.

“It’s an exciting series, and it’s going to benefit both teams and help them prepare,” Butler associate head coach Matthew Graves told the Indianapolis Star.

Both programs have made splashes nationally and displayed staying power, despite coming from leagues not considered among the power conferences. Gonzaga, which has dominated the West Coast Conference, has played in 13 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Butler, which plays in the Horizon League, has been in five straight NCAA tournaments and lost in the last two national championship games.

Butler knocked off Gonzaga 79-71 in the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off championship game at Madison Square Garden.

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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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