UK, Gonzaga sign on for home-and-home series
- Basketball recruiting insider.
- Joined ESPN in 2014.
- Graduate of University of Delaware.
Gonzaga and Kentucky have agreed to a home-and-home men’s college basketball series beginning with the Wildcats traveling to Spokane in November.
The games were announced in a conversation between coaches John Calipari and Mark Few during Kentucky’s open practice and telethon to raise money for flood victims in eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night.
“He wants to schedule a game, but everything’s gotta be on his terms,” Calipari said to the Rupp Arena crowd with Few calling in via video. “I thought we were Kentucky.”
“First of all, we were fine,” Few replied. “We were looking good, and you just said, ‘Hey you wanna play?’ And I’m like, yeah I’m good with playing.”
“And what did you say?” Calipari countered.
“I said it needs to be in Spokane,” Few said.
After some more banter between the two head coaches, they got down to specifics.
“Nov. 20 is what would be great,” Few said. “That suits us. How about you?”
“Let me ask you this, maybe this is crazy,” Calipari replied. “Will you come back here the following year or are you just saying it’s a one-game shot at Spokane?”
“We will absolutely come back,” Few said. “We’ve never played at Rupp Arena, and it would be awesome.”
The two programs have played only once, in the 2002 Maui Invitational. Kentucky won that game 80-72.
The Nov. 20 contest will be arguably the best nonconference game of the season. Both teams are ranked in most preseason top fives, with Gonzaga coming in at No. 2 and Kentucky checking in at No. 4 in ESPN’s most recent Way-Too-Early Top 25. It will also feature two of the best players in the country going head to head, as National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe will battle two-time All-American Drew Timme.
Gonzaga is coming off a 28-4 season that ended with a loss in the Sweet 16. Kentucky was stunned in the first round by 15-seed Saint Peter’s.
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