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

Chris Standiford, the athletic director of Gonzaga University, has announced that the last two games of the Gonzaga-Washington men’s basketball series are no longer scheduled.

Following the cancellation of the GU-UW game in the 2021–22 season due to COVID, the two universities decided to continue their four-game series with a yearly meeting through the 2025–26 season.

The Huskies decided to “exercise that clause,” according to Standiford, because the contract allowed either team to opt out in the event of a coaching change.

One of the most anticipated matchups on Gonzaga’s home calendar, Washington was set to play Gonzaga in the Kennel this season in the third game of the series. The series would then return to Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle the following year. The news that the Gonzaga-Washington game this season was postponed was initially broken by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

After the previous season, Mike Hopkins, whose contract had one year remaining, was replaced as coach by former Utah State assistant Danny Sprinkle at Washington. Hopkins had one NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons and ended 118-106. Last season, Washington finished 17-15 overall and 9-11 in the Pac-12.

Standiford stated, “It makes sense to me with a new coach, going into a new league (the Big Ten), and scheduling philosophies,” emphasizing that he was unaware of the precise reasons behind UW’s choice. “Hopefully, we can get back to something soon.”

Last December at Alaska Airlines Arena, Gonzaga had won seven consecutive and fourteen of the previous fifteen games in the series before Washington overcame an 11-point hole in the second half to win 78-73 in front of 9,294 fans. The team’s sixth double-digit victory of the seven-game winning run came in December 2022 at the McCarthey Athletic Centre when GU defeated the prior meeting, 77-60.

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 expressed his optimism that Gonzaga will add a compelling opponent to their home schedule for this season in place of Washington.

In 2024–2025, Gonzaga will play eighteen games in the West Coast Conference in addition to games against Oregon State and Washington State. The Huskies will play 20 conference games after joining the Big Ten.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.