It’s a dream matchup – Gonzaga vs. Kansas – but it will require some patience from college basketball fans.
The Zags and Jayhawks have agreed to a home-and-home series expected to begin in Dec. 2022, at famed Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, according to a source. The return game will be in Dec. 2023, at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Kansas finished No. 1 and Gonzaga No. 2 in the final AP poll of the 2020 season. Both were considered strong national championship contenders, but the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Zags closed the season No. 1 with the Jayhawks No. 2 in the NET rankings. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi ranked Kansas (28-3) as the No. 1 overall seed, followed by the Zags (31-2).
The programs also rank one-two nationally in winning percentage over the last decade. The Zags are first with a 308-51 record (85.8%) with the Jayhawks second at 299-66 (81.9%).
Since the 2004-05 season, Kansas is tops nationally with a home winning percentage of 94.2%. Gonzaga is second at 93.7%.
Kansas has won five NCAA titles, three in the NCAA Tournament era (1952, 1988 and 2008). The Jayhawks earlier this month claimed their 19th Big 12 regular-season title and their 62nd conference title overall, the most in Division I history.
How Kansas and Gonzaga have fared the past 10 seasons
The Jayhawks and Bulldogs since 2010-11:
The teams have only met once. Gonzaga lost 80-66 to No. 8 Kansas in Nov. 1998 as the Jayhawks extended their home winning streak to 61. The Zags led most of the game before Kansas surged ahead midway through the second half. Matt Santangelo led Gonzaga with 24 points.
Gonzaga reached the Elite Eight that season, launching the program’s 22-year streak of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Kansas has the nation’s longest active streak at 30 (not including 2020).
The programs are led by two of the most successful coaches in college basketball. Bill Self has guided Kansas to 15 regular-season titles and eight Big 12 Tournament championships while compiling a 501-109 record in 17 years.
Self was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. The Jayhawks won the 2008 NCAA Title and reached the Final Four in 2012 and 2018.
Mark Few is 599-124 in 21 seasons at Gonzaga. The Zags have won 19 solo or outright WCC regular-season titles and finished second twice. The Zags reached the Final Four for the first time in 2017, falling to North Carolina in the championship game.
Few is No. 1 among active coaches with an 82.8 career winning percentage.