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Gonzaga Basketball

Half of Gonzaga’s 14 nonconference games could be against ranked opponents

Gonzaga guard Nolan Hickman (11) drives against Connecticut guard Andre Jackson Jr. during the Huskies' 82-54 Elite Eight win last March in Las Vegas.  (By Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga officially released its 14-game nonconference schedule that potentially includes seven matchups against foes likely to be in the preseason Top 25 rankings.

GU’s Nov. 3 exhibition game against Lewis-Clark State and all 14 nonconference contests have been previously reported.

The Zags will have seven home dates, highlighted by 2023 national runner-up San Diego State on Dec. 29. They have five neutral site games, including defending national champion UConn (Dec. 15) at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and the possibility of three top-eight showdowns at the Maui Invitational from Nov. 20-22.

GU’s two road games are against Washington (Dec. 9) and Kentucky (Feb. 10).

The Zags entertain Yale, which has won three of the past four Ivy League championships, on Nov. 10 in the season opener before facing NAIA Eastern Oregon on Nov. 14.

The schedule heats up when Gonzaga, No. 7 in ESPN’s latest rankings, faces No. 3 Purdue in the opening round at the Maui Invitational, which will be played in Honolulu due to devastating August wildfires in Lahaina. The Zags could face No. 8 Tennessee in the second round and either No. 1 Kansas or No. 10 Marquette in their final game.

Gonzaga takes on No. 21 USC on Dec. 2 in Las Vegas. UConn is ranked fifth, San Diego State is No. 12 and Kentucky is No. 17.

Other home dates: Cal State Bakersfield (Nov. 28), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 5), Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 11) and Jackson State (Dec. 20).

Gonzaga was No. 8 in the final NET rankings from last season. Yale was 65, Purdue No. 6, Cal State Bakersfield 298, USC 55, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 333, Washington 124, Mississippi Valley State 358, UConn No. 3, Jackson State 308, San Diego State 15 and Kentucky 26. Other potential foes at Maui Invitational: No. 5 Tennessee, No. 9 Kansas, No. 121 Syracuse, No. 4 UCLA and No. 12 Marquette. Chaminade, which opens against Kansas, is a Division II program.

Complete game times and television details will be announced at a later date.