Two of college basketball’s biggest brands are set for a seismic showdown on Sunday as No. 2 Gonzaga hosts No. 4 Kentucky at Spokane Arena in the first meeting between the teams in 20 years. The last time the schools played was in the 2002 Maui Invitational, which was early in the Bulldogs’ ascension to national prominence and several years before John Calipari took over the Wildcats.
Both teams have spent most of the past two decades at or near the top of college basketball but managing to avoid each other in the NCAA Tournament. That’s why it was such big news in August when the programs announced a six-game series over the next six seasons.
While it’s a top-five matchup for now, it’s possible that neither team will be among the top-five come the release of Monday’s new AP Top 25. After both teams lost marquee matchups over the past week, Sunday’s game could feature a sense of desperation as both squads try and avoid picking up a second loss before continuing with challenging non conference slates.
Still ahead for Kentucky before SEC play is a game against Michigan in London on Dec. 4 and a showdown with UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 17. Gonzaga heads to the Phil Knight Legacy event in Portland, Oregon next week and also plays Baylor and Alabama this month before diving into conference play. Big as games those will be, it’s possible that none will be watched more closely than this one as Calipari and Few square off with two of the most talented rosters in the country.
Kentucky vs. Gonzaga: Need to know
Matchup of stars: This game is a matchup of the 2021-22 CBS Sports Player of the Year in Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe and the 2022-23 CBS Sports Preseason Player of the Year in Gonzaga big man Drew Timme. Both are post-oriented veterans ill-suited for the modern NBA but who have proven to be dominant at the college level. Seeing them play each…
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Author : David Cobb
Publish date : 2022-11-20 13:00:38
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