Missouri, UMass, Oklahoma State, Nevada, Tennessee, Connecticut, Davidson, Illinois, Arizona, Kansas State, South Alabama?
Out of the previously mentioned basketball teams, each of them are traditionally a solid basketball team. Except the last one. This seems like a very odd team to schedule for a game that usually garners a great deal of interest.
Seattle, albeit about 4 hours away from Spokane, is home to a great deal of Gonzaga fans, and a lot of them get very excited for this game (I would know, since I am one of those Gonzaga fan’s that live in Seattle). South Alabama is not the type of team that people will jump out of there seats to go and see, and I anticipate that the event will see a drop in attendance because of it.
However, coming to the defense of South Alabama, the Jaguars are a decent team. They hail from the Sun Belt Conference, where they finished with a 14-6 conference record. Augustine Rubit is South Alabama’s star player, and would be the player the Zags would have to lock on to the most. The 6’7″ power forward averaged 19.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last season as a junior.
South Alabama is not a bad team, but they are not the type of team that is going to have Key Arena bursting at the seems on December 14th. Overall, this seems like a peculiar team to schedule for a game that many Gonzaga fans circle on their calenders.