For the first time since 2012, Gonzaga won’t be hosting an opponent from the West Coast Conference in the final home game of the regular season.
It was revealed Tuesday that Chicago State would be Gonzaga’s 14th nonconference opponent, but rather than playing in November or December the Bulldogs and Cougars will play March 1 on GU’s Senior Night, The Spokesman-Review learned Wednesday.
The Bulldogs have played nonconference opponents on Senior Night in the past, but not since the 2011-12 season when Gonzaga hosted Longwood. Cal State Bakersfield visited McCarthey Athletic Center on Senior Night in 2010 and 2011, USC Upstate came in 2009, and Northern Colorado made the trek for Spokane for GU’s Senior Night in 2005.
The March 1 game, played between Gonzaga and Chicago State teams that finished the 2021-22 season ranked No. 1 and No. 340, respectively, on Ken Pomeroy’s website, will give the Bulldogs a tuneup between their WCC regular-season finale against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 25 and the WCC Tournament semifinal on March 6.
The WCC’s Nos. 7-10 seeds officially begin tournament play on March 2, but Gonzaga, which has been no worse than a No. 2 seed in 23 seasons under coach Mark Few, would secure a bye to the semifinal round by grabbing one of the top four seeds to the 2023 tournament.
Presuming no other games are added to Gonzaga’s schedule, the Bulldogs will have a large window between their Dec. 20 home game against Montana and the WCC home opener against Pepperdine on Dec. 31.
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