Although this is relatively old news for most people, the Gonzaga athletic department has officially announced home-and-home series with the UCLA Bruins and the Arizona Wildcats, starting this year.
The Zags will trek down to Tucson, Ariz. to play the Wildcats in the McKale Center on Dec. 6, 2014. The following Saturday (Dec. 13), the Bulldogs will travel down to Los Angeles, Calif. to take on the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion.
The UCLA athletic department announced that the Bruins will return the favor in 2015 and face the Zags on Dec. 12. That game is scheduled tentatively.
No return date has been set by Arizona and Gonzaga yet, but the Wildcats are contractually obligated to come up and play GU in the McCarthey athletic center at some point in the future.
Other games that have been confirmed to be on the Bulldogs non-conference schedule are SMU at home, Washington State at the Spokane Arena – a de facto home game – and the NIT preseason tip-off, where Georgia, St. Johns and Minnesota are all regional hosts with GU.
The Bulldogs match up with Arizona comes less than a year after the Wildcats ran the Bulldogs out of the building in their second round matchup in the NCAA tournament at the Viejas Arena last year. Although the Wildcats lost one of last year’s freshman phenoms in Aaron Gordon and team leader Nick Johnson, they return T.J. McConnell, Gabe York, Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and brought in a loaded recruiting class led by Stanley Johnson.
UCLA will also be a formidable foe for the Zags. However, with Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson declared for the draft and the Wear twins graduated, the Bruins will be going through a lot of turnover in the 2014-2015 season.