Arrow-right Camera

Color Scheme

Subscribe now
Gonzaga Basketball

Washington opts out of last two games of men’s basketball series against Gonzaga

Gonzaga guard and Seattle native Nolan Hickman (11) looks to move the ball against Washington’s Sahvir Wheeler (5) during the second half of UW’s 78-73 victory last December at Alaska Airlines Arena.  (By Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

The final two games of the Gonzaga-Washington men’s basketball series are no longer on the schedule, GU Athletic Director Chris Standiford confirmed.

When the GU-UW matchup was canceled in the 2021-22 season due to COVID, the schools elected to extend their four-game set with an annual game through the 2025-26 season.

The contract included a clause that if there was a coaching change either team could opt out and the Huskies chose to “exercise that clause,” Standiford said.

Washington was scheduled to visit Gonzaga in the Kennel this season – one of the highlights of the known games on GU’s home slate – for the third game of the series with a return game the following year at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle. CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein was the first to report that the Gonzaga-Washington game this season was off.

Washington made a coaching change after last season, replacing Mike Hopkins, who had one year left on his contract, with former Utah State coach Danny Sprinkle. Hopkins finished 118-106 with one NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons. Washington was 17-15 overall, 9-11 in the Pac-12, last season.

“It makes sense to me with a new coach, going into a new league (the Big Ten) and scheduling philosophies,” said Standiford, stressing he didn’t know the specific reasons for UW’s decision. “Hopefully, we can do something again in the near future.”

Gonzaga had dominated the series, winning seven straight and 14 of the past 15 before Washington rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit for a 78-73 victory in front of 9,294 last December at Alaska Airlines Arena. GU won the previous meeting 77-60 – its fifth double-digit win during the seven-game winning streak – in December 2022 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Gonzaga, projected as a top-five team in numerous preseason polls, hasn’t announced its complete nonconference schedule, but it has several marquee matchups. The Zags will visit San Diego State and they’re set to face Kentucky at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, UCLA at the Intuit Dome in Los Angeles and two-time defending national champion UConn at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

GU also has three games at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas in an eight-team field that includes Arizona, Indiana and Providence.

Standiford said he’s hopeful Gonzaga would add an attractive opponent to replace Washington on this year’s home schedule.

Gonzaga will play 18 West Coast Conference games with the addition of Washington State and Oregon State in 2024-25. The Huskies are joining the Big Ten and face a 20-game conference schedule.