Gonzaga and Portland will become quite familiar with each other in the next 11 days.
The teams’ basketball game postponed Saturday in Portland due to inclement weather has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, at 5 p.m at the Chiles Center. That comes two days after Gonzaga entertains the Pilots at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
There were few rescheduling options with the WCC going to an 18-game, nine-week conference schedule this season. That eliminated pre-Christmas conference dates but also one-game weeks.
“It virtually had to be a Monday,” Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said. “We looked at a couple of different Mondays. We went back and forth, a lot of discussion and that’s why it’s taken until Thursday to get it solidified what made sense for both schools.
“Given the narrow choices that we had, this was the one that made the most sense to us, even though we do play back-to-back.”
The possibility of playing on Monday, Feb. 27, two days after Saturday’s regular-season finale versus BYU, was broached but Portland declined due to a previously scheduled event.
“Their president felt very strongly that to have two events on that campus, the event they’re having is an important one, was not in the University of Portland’s best interests,” Roth said. “And the University of Portland gets to make that decision on their campus, no different than we get to make that decision on ours.”
The revised schedule means Gonzaga will play at Santa Clara next Thursday, entertain Portland on Saturday, Jan. 21, and visit Portland on Monday, Jan. 23. GU entertains San Diego on Thursday, Jan. 26, before a road game against Pepperdine on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The Zags and Pilots went down a similar path in the 1990s and as late as 2002 when the travel partners would play on a Wednesday and the return game would follow on Saturday.