Final season, Gonzaga spent 4 weeks at No. 1 and 7 weeks at No. 2 within the AP Prime 25 ballot, which is the place it completed within the closing rankings. The one staff forward of the Bulldogs on the finish was Kansas, which additionally spent 4 weeks at No. 1 and your complete season within the prime six earlier than ending on prime.
However the two finest groups within the nation by no means acquired to settle it on the court docket final season, as their likelihood of probably assembly within the Closing 4 as No. 1 seeds got here crashing down when faculty basketball’s postseason was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So maybe it is solely becoming that the No. 1 Bulldogs and No. 6 Jayhawks will start their 2020-21 seasons towards one another Thursday within the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off.
The pandemic remains to be raging and each groups’ rosters look a bit totally different than they did final season, however a showdown between top-10 groups is one thing any faculty hoops fan can be grateful for, particularly in 2020. That that is simply the second all-time assembly between Gonzaga and Kansas makes it even sweeter.
There was some concern the sport could be performed when a member of the Gonzaga travelling occasion examined constructive for COVID-19. Nevertheless, no gamers examined constructive and the sport was allowed to be performed. This is the assertion issued Thursday from Fort Myers Tip Off match organizers:
The medical staffs from the 4 collaborating establishments of the Fort Myers Tip-Off collaborated diligently to determine agreed upon COVID-19 testing procedures and protocols for the occasion. Following testing of all staff journey events on Wednesday, which included 112 PCR checks, one constructive outcome from a non-student-athlete was confirmed from the Gonzaga journey occasion. Occasion organizers activated its medical protocols and contacted the Florida Division of Well being to independently conduct contact tracing measures. On the conclusion of their investigation, two shut, non-student-athlete Gonzaga contacts have been recognized. All three people are isolating of their resort rooms underneath the supervision of their establishment’s medical staff. The medical staffs from all packages deemed at present’s video games may be performed as scheduled.
Kansas: The Jayhawks misplaced three starters, together with faculty basketball’s finest guard-big man duo in Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. However the Jayhawks return Naismith Defensive Participant of the 12 months Marcus Garrett and fellow athletic wing Ochai Agbaji, who have been each starters on final 12 months’s 28-3 staff. After that, coach Invoice Self will likely be mixing a gaggle of skilled reserves with a few intriguing newcomers as he enters his 18th season at Kansas. Will probably be significantly intriguing to see if five-star freshman capturing guard Bryce Thompson and/or junior faculty switch Tyson Grant-Foster can emerge as an environment friendly scorer to assist ease the Jayhawks’ offensive burden.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs had seven gamers common between 9.8 and 17.5 factors per sport final season. 4 of them have departed, however the three who return are every potential superstars. The trio of guard Joel Ayayi, versatile ahead Corey Kispert and massive man Drew Timme ought to be deadly. In the event that they want any assist, freshman guard Jalen Suggs enters because the highest-rated recruit in Mark Few’s 22 years as coach. He is certainly one of three top-100 signees within the 2020 class for Gonzaga. Switch guards Andrew Nembhard from Florida and Aaron Cook dinner from Southern Illinois are getting into the image as properly after proving to be stable gamers of their earlier stops. This overflow of expertise is the explanation why this Gonzaga staff is the primary in program historical past to land the No. 1 spot within the AP Prime 25 preseason ballot.
- When: Thursday, Nov. 26 1:30 p.m. ET
- The place: Suncoast Credit score Union Enviornment in Fort Myers, Florida
- TV: Fox | Streaming: fuboTV (strive free of charge)
Kansas vs. Gonzaga prediction, choose
Kansas is recalibrating its total identification following the departures of Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike as a lot of what it did final season was based mostly round that dominant duo. The Jayhawks have the expertise to deal with the duty properly and can compete for a Large 12 title. But it surely would possibly take a number of video games for them to seek out an offensive rhythm. Gonzaga misplaced some good producers, nevertheless it has all of the instruments and expertise to seamlessly play the identical environment friendly type that carried to a 31-2 file final season. The Bulldogs ought to cowl this time. Then we will begin hoping for an NCAA Match rematch. Decide: Gonzaga -4