A bit more on Gonzaga's schedule.
It's not filled with quite as many marquee non-conference dates as usual, particularly at home, but there will be numerous challenges for the Bulldogs. With the WCC's addition of Pacific, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year, GU's non-conference schedule shrinks by two games.
The toughest non-conference stretch -- other than the Maui Invitational and meetings with Dayton, likely Baylor and possibly Syracuse -- will likely come in December when Gonzaga visits West Virginia and Kansas State. There's also a Feb. 8 matchup at Memphis (ESPN's College Game Day will be there). Memphis is 5-1 against Gonzaga since 2006.
Gonzaga will play 15 homes games this season, including six non-conference games at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
There were few surprises when Gonzaga released its official men’s basketball schedule Monday. Most of the opponents have been known for a while, including a Dec. 14 game against South Alabama in the Battle in Seattle.
The top non-conference home games are against Colorado State and New Mexico State, both NCAA Tournament participants last year, and rival Washington State. Colorado State, coached by former Idaho Vandals coach Larry Eustachy, knocked off Missouri before falling to eventual national champion Louisville. NMSU lost to Saint Louis in the opening round.
Gonzaga, 32-3 last year, opens the regular season with four home games, beginning with Bryant University, which went 19-12 in its first season as a full Division I member, on Nov. 9. Bryant, of the Northeastern Conference, lost in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. Next up is Oakland, a Horizon League member that played in the collegeinsider.com tournament last year. The Golden Grizzlies finished 16-17 last season.
Gonzaga upended WSU in Pullman last season on Kevin Pangos’ last-second basket. Coppin State, 8-24 last season, visits on Dec. 1, followed by New Mexico State on Dec. 7.
The Bulldogs’ non-conference road schedule is highlighted by three games at the Maui Invitational, road dates with Memphis and West Virginia and a matchup against Kansas State in Wichita. Memphis has won at least 20 games each of the last 11 seasons. The Tigers defeated Saint Mary’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
Gonzaga defeated Kansas State 68-52 last season in Seattle. The Wildcats (27-8 last season) earned a share of the Big 12 Conference title, the program’s first in 36 seasons. Gonzaga defeated West Virginia 84-50 last season and 77-54 in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers were 13-19 last season.