Men's Basketball Faces Another Challenging Schedule
Sept. 17, 2009
SPOKANE, Wash. - The NCAA runner-up, an Elite Eight Squad, three Sweet 16 teams and three other NCAA Tournament teams from 2009 dot the 2010 Gonzaga University men's basketball schedule announced Thursday.
The schedule includes 15 home games in the McCarthey Athletic Center, the fourth annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic in the Spokane Arena and the seventh annual Battle in Seattle at KeyArena.
Gonzaga will host the University of Alberta in an exhibition game Nov. 2, then open the regular season at home Nov. 14 against Mississippi Valley State University.
Michigan State University is the first marquee game on the schedule when the Bulldogs travel to the 2009 NCAA runner-up Nov. 17 as part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon that features 24 consecutive hours of live basketball. The Bulldogs and Spartans will have the 5 p.m. PST slot.
Following another home game against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Nov. 20, the Bulldogs embark on their third trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational Nov. 23-25. Gonzaga will open against the University of Colorado in the first game of the tourney Nov. 23 at noon PST. Also in the Bulldogs bracket are the University of Arizona and the University of Wisconsin, both NCAA Tournament teams a year ago. Arizona advanced to the Sweet 16 and Wisconsin went to the second round. Other teams in the field are the University of Maryland, Vanderbilt University, the University of Cincinnati and host Chaminade University. Gonzaga finished second in the 2005 Maui Invitational that featured an epic 109-106 triple overtime victory over Michigan State in the semifinals and an equally exciting, albeit disappointing, 65-63 setback to the University of Connecticut in the title game.
Three straight home games await Gonzaga when the Bulldogs return home from the islands, beginning with Washington State University Dec. 2. ACC power Wake Forest University will visit the McCarthey Athletic Center Dec. 5 and Augustana College of Rock Island, Ill., will be in town Dec. 9. Wake Forest was a NCAA participant last season.
The Battle in Seattle and another Madison Square Garden match-up with Duke University takes place Dec. 12 and 19, respectively. Davidson College, which defeated the Bulldogs in the 2008 NCAA Tournament first round, will provide the competition in Seattle. Gonzaga and Duke, which met in the 2006 Aeropostle Classic in The Garden, will return to that event this season. Duke advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009.
Following a home game with Eastern Washington University Dec. 28, the Bulldogs have a New Year's Eve date with the University of Oklahoma in the Spokane Arena for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic. The Sooners lost to eventual national champion UNC in the Elite Eight last year.
The final tune-up for the Bulldogs prior to the start of West Coast Conference play will be Jan. 2 when they tip-off the New Year against the University of Illinois in the United Center in Chicago. It will be Gonzaga's first appearance in Chicago and the United Center since playing Temple University in the 1999 Great Eight, a now-defunct event that featured the NCAA Elite Eight schools from the previous year.
Gonzaga will make one non-conference appearance in the middle of the WCC schedule, the Bulldogs and the University of Memphis continuing their rivalry this year in Memphis Feb.6. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season and feature new head coach Josh Pastner, replacing John Calipari who left for the University of Kentucky following last season. Memphis was in Spokane last season for ESPN's College Game Day.
WCC play opens with three straight road games beginning Jan. 9 at the University of Portland. Gonzaga will make its WCC home debut Jan. 21 when Pepperdine University visits followed by a Jan. 23 visit from Loyola Marymount University.
Gonzaga will conclude the regular season at home March 2 against Cal State Bakersfield in a non-conference tilt.
For the second straight year the WCC Tournament will return to Las Vegas March 5-8. Gonzaga captured last year's inaugural Las Vegas event after 22 years on campus sites.
All Gonzaga games will once again be televised. The Bulldogs will have 14 regular-season games on the ESPN family of stations, two on CBS and 13 televised as part of the KHQ/FSN television package. Three games late in the season as part of the KHQ/FSN package will be shown in the Spokane market on KHQ sister station KAYU because of commitments KHQ has to national affiliate NBC and the Winter Olympics. The Battle in Seattle television partner has not been announced.
In related news, all seven newcomers joining the Bulldogs are expected to be in class by Monday. Canadian freshmen Mangisto Arop (Hamilton, Ontario) and Kelly Olynyk (Kelowna, British Columbia) have been on the Gonzaga campus along with freshman G.J. Vilarino, who was released from his letter-of-intent at the University of Kentucky following a coaching change this past spring, freshman Sam Dower (Osseo, Minn.) and Spokane freshman David Stockton. They will be joined by sophomore transfer Bol Kong (Vancouver, British Columbia) and freshman Elias Harris (Speyer, Germany). Kong arrived in Spokane Thursday night after his visa paperwork was approved, and Harris will arrive this weekend after playing for Germany in the European championships.
(All Times Pacific Time Zone - All Times Subject To Change)
2 - University of Alberta (KHQ) (exhib.), 6 p.m.; 14 - Mississippi Valley State University (KHQ/FSN), 5 p.m.; 17 - at Michigan State University (ESPN), 5 p.m.; 20 - Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (KHQ/FSN), 6 p.m.; 23 - Colorado @ Maui Invitational (ESPN2), 5 p.m.; 24 - University of Arizona or University of Wisconsin @ Maui Invitational (ESPN or ESPN2), 1 p.m. or 4 p.m.; 25 - @ Maui Invitational, TBA.
2 - Washington State University (KHQ/FSN), 6 p.m.; 5 - Wake Forest University (ESPN2), 2:30 p.m.; 9 - Augustana College (KHQ/FSN), 6 p.m.; 12 - Davidson College @ Seattle, TBA; 19 - Duke University @ New York (CBS), 1 p.m.; 28 - Eastern Washington University (KHQ/FSN), 6 p.m.; 31 - University of Oklahoma @ Spokane Arena (ESPN2), 7 p.m.
2 - University of Illinois @ Chicago (CBS), 11 a.m.; 9 - *at University of Portland (ESPNU), 7 p.m.; 14 - *at Saint Mary's College (ESPN2), 8 p.m.; 16 - *at University of San Diego (KHQ/FSN), TBA; 21 - *Pepperdine University (KHQ/FSN), 6 p.m.; 23 - *Loyola Marymount University (KHQ/FSN), 5 p.m.; 28 - *at Santa Clara University (ESPN2), 8 p.m.; 30 - *at University of San Francisco (KHQ/FSN), TBA.
4 - *University of Portland (ESPN2), 8 p.m.; 6 - at University of Memphis (ESPN2), 1 p.m.; 11 - *Saint Mary's College (ESPN2), 8 p.m.; 13 - *University of San Diego (ESPNU), 7 p.m.; 18 - *at Loyola Marymount University (KAYU/FSN), TBA; 20 - *at Pepperdine University (KAYU/FSN), TBA; 25 - *Santa Clara University (ESPN2), 8 p.m.; 27 - *University of San Francisco (KAYU/FSN), 5 p.m.
2 - Cal State Bakersfield (KHQ/FSN), 6 p.m.; 5 - WCC Tournament Play-in @ Las Vegas, 6/8 p.m.; 6 - WCC Tournament Quarterfinals @ Las Vegas, 6/8 p.m.; 7 - WCC Tournament Semifinals (ESPN2), 5:30/7:30 p.m.; 8 - WCC Championship (ESPN), 6 p.m.
*Indicates West Coast Conference Game
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