Men's Basketball Faces Another Tough Schedule
Sept. 26, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. - The most aggressive men's basketball schedule in Gonzaga University history was announced today by Bulldog athletic director Mike Roth and head men's basketball coach Mark Few.
"We've said it every year for the past four or five years, but this is once again the toughest schedule we've ever played," Few said. "But we believe that's what has made us resilient in the post season. There's not much in the way of adversity we haven't seen throughout the course of the regular season - whether it's the opposition, the crowds or the travel - to get us tournament ready when March rolls around."
The Bulldogs open the regular season in The Kennel On Nov. 22 against Hofstra University, then depart for the prestigious EA Sports Maui Invitational Nov. 25-27. The Bulldogs' first-round opponent will be the University of Utah, with the Bulldogs in the same bracket as Indiana University and the University of Massachusetts. Indiana defeated Utah in last year's NCAA Tournament first round, propelling the Hoosiers on their way to the national championship game where they fell to the University of Maryland.
Other teams in the Maui Invitational field include 2002 NCAA participant University of Kentucky (Sweet 16), Arizona State University, the University of Virginia and host Chaminade University.
The Bulldogs will also play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic Dec. 15 in Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., the Zags facing the University of Georgia in the first half of the doubleheader. Georgia Tech University and the University of Tennessee meet in the day's other game.
Gonzaga will go straight from Georgia to East Rutherford, NJ, for a Dec. 17 meeting with North Carolina State University in the Jimmy V Classic, the doubleheader named in memory of the former NC State coach who passed away after a courageous bout with cancer. The University of Cincinnati faces the University of Oregon in the nightcap.
Also on the schedule is a return trip to the Pete Newell Challenge where the Bulldogs will face Stanford University in the doubleheader nightcap. Gonzaga lost to the University of California 72-64 in the 1999 Pete Newell Challenge, the Bulldogs playing most of the game without Casey Calvary who was nursing the flu bug. Stanford advanced to the 2002 NCAA Tournament second round before losing to the University of Kansas. Cal will face Kansas in the other half of this year's Newell Challenge.
Other non-conference home games for the Bulldogs include the University of Washington on Dec. 2, Long Beach State University on Dec. 20 and Saint Joseph's University in a New Year's Eve tilt.
Gonzaga and Eastern Washington University will meet in the Spokane Arena on Dec. 22.
Gonzaga opens West Coast Conference play in The Kennel when Loyola Marymount visits on Jan. 9, followed by a Jan. 12 invasion from co-favorite Pepperdine University in an early-season showdown for WCC bragging rights.
The inaugural Bracket Busters, sponsored by ESPN, will also come to The Kennel Feb. 22 when Gonzaga hosts the University of Tulsa on ESPN. Tulsa advanced to the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament before losing to Kentucky.
Gonzaga's complete television schedule will be announced soon.
The complete schedule is posted on this web site.
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