0

With college basketball schedules resetting, Gonzaga and Baylor set brutal slates — and that’s a great thing

Posted on

Gonzaga is No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1. And Baylor is No. 2. It’s an uncommon couple atop the polls heading into an uncommon — well, unprecedented — season. 

But do you realize what these programs are doing? To this point, here’s what the nonconference schedules are looking like for the two Final Four contenders. 

For Gonzaga:

  • vs. No. 11 Michigan State (potentially) in Orlando in late November
  • vs. No. 12 Tennessee in Orlando on Dec. 2
  • vs. No. 2 Baylor in Indianapolis on Dec. 5
  • vs. No. 5 Iowa in South Dakota on Dec. 19

For Baylor:

Keep in mind there will be more games against NCAA Tournament-level teams for both schools when they squeeze in additional tilts in Orlando, where ESPN is going to house dozens of teams and numerous multi-team events. Mark Few and Scott Drew, two coaches who’ve never won a national title and only one of whom has made a Final Four, are scheduling like degree of difficulty will get them to the promised land. 

I love it. Can you imagine if college basketball always had this? By that I mean: regularly had two of its top three or four teams not only explicitly seeking each other out to play in the nonconference, but also were borderline obsessed with playing the hardest out-of-league slate possible? It’s what the 2020-21 season has delivered with the Bulldogs and Bears.

These two aren’t the only top 10-caliber teams seeking difficult schedules, I know. Expect Kansas to be very rugged again, for instance. No. 4 Virginia is targeting to play Florida, and should also have No. 3 Villanova on the schedule. No. 5 Iowa told Gonzaga it’s totally up for a throwdown in South Dakota. It’s a fabulous thing for college basketball. If all teams

0

College basketball schedule 2020-21: Iowa to face Gonzaga in potential top-five showdown in South Dakota

Posted on


College basketball continues to load up on elite, must-see games for its upcoming season.


The latest late-offseason upgrade features two Final Four contenders — Gonzaga playing Iowa — in a game to be played on Dec. 19 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, sources told CBS Sports. The Sanford Pentagon (the same site hosting the tournament field formerly labeled the 2020 Battle 4 Atlantis) will be witness to the fourth meeting ever between the Bulldogs and Hawkeyes. 


Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in CBS Sports’ Top 25 And 1 preseason rankings. The Hawkeyes are No. 5.


Itching for more college hoops analysis? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast​ where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.


The game is a goodie, and not just because Gonzaga could be the best team in college basketball. This tilt would also will feature the lock-of-locks preseason pick for national player of the year, Iowa center Luka Garza. The senior big man opted to return to college basketball after being a consensus First Team All-America/Big Ten Player of the Year. He averaged 23.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a season ago; Iowa was well on its way to the 2020 NCAA Tournament, thanks in large part to Garza’s play.


Garza won’t be the only potential preseason All-American selection in this game. Gonzaga guard Corey Kispert leads maybe the most well-rounded starting five in the sport. The Zags are loaded yet again and have championship aspirations. 


Gonzaga was able to fill this opening on its slate because, just as it did with securing Baylor for a Dec. 5 game in Indianapolis, Iowa was both a desirable, high-quality opponent and a team that