BYU Men’s Basketball schedules No. 1 Gonzaga after three consecutive postponed games

BYU Men’s Basketball had three of its first West Coast Conference matchups postponed due to COVID-19 but will now begin its conference schedule on the road at No. 1 Gonzaga on Thursday, Jan. 7.

The Cougars’ original opening WCC slate was supposed to include Pepperdine on Dec. 31, San Diego on Jan. 2 and Pacific on Jan. 7, but all three were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols on the opposing teams, leaving BYU without games from Dec. 23 to Jan. 14.

Gonzaga was originally scheduled to play Santa Clara on Jan. 7, but the Broncos were forced to put their program on pause due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs are currently undefeated at 10-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country, as they have been since the start of the season.

Rumors began to swirl about a potential matchup when BYU head coach Mark Pope tweeted on Monday evening, “It’s go time! Get ready Cougar Nation! We got a GAME!!”

Reports started to come in Tuesday morning that the Cougars’ newly-scheduled opponent would be Gonzaga, and the team confirmed it soon after. The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. MST.

BYU is currently 9-2 and received the 33rd-most votes in the most recent AP Poll, falling just outside the Top 25. The Cougars were ranked No. 52 in the first NET rankings of the season, which is the primary measure for selecting teams for the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars last played Gonzaga on Feb. 22, 2020, when No. 23 BYU took down No. 2 Gonzaga in the Marriott Center by a score of 91-78 in front of a sold-out crowd.

The two teams were originally scheduled to play each other twice in February, in Spokane on Feb. 6 and in Provo on Feb. 27. This new matchup will take the place of the Feb. 6 meeting, and both schools will find new opponents for that date.

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