Busting Brackets
Fansided

Gonzaga at San Francisco: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

In one of the biggest weeks in program history, Gonzaga starts with a trip to California, taking on a dangerous San Francisco squad.

Jan 25, 2024; Spokane, Washington, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Mike Sharavjamts (5) tries to trap
Jan 25, 2024; Spokane, Washington, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Mike Sharavjamts (5) tries to trap / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

In one of the biggest weeks in program history, Gonzaga starts with a trip to California, taking on a dangerous San Francisco squad.

TV schedule: Thursday, 11:00 pm ET, ESPN2

Arena: Chase Center in San Francisco, California

There might not be a team with more pressure on them to win this week than Gonzaga (22-6, 11-2 WCC), whose NCAA Tournament hopes are hanging by a thread. They're right in the middle of the bubble, with a combination of great metrics and no bad losses along with a lack of good wins.

The good news for the Bulldogs is that they have two Quad 1 opportunities in the final week of the WCC regular-season. While everyone is looking ahead to Saturday's matchup with Saint Mary's, Gonzaga first needs to take care of another good team in San Francisco (22-7, 11-3 WCC). The Dons have won 7 of the last 8 games, with the only loss coming on the road at the Gaels last week by four points.

San Francisco is led by Jonathan Mogbo (14.9 ppg and 10.1 rpg), who is looking to lock up a first-team All-WCC spot. Guards Marcus Williams and Malik Thomas are double-digit scorers, with the Dons having a good balance of size and shooting ability within their rotation.

Their only losses in league play has been to the top two teams, including a 77-72 loss in Spokane. The Bulldogs were up by as much as 15 points late in the second half after trailing midway but a combination of missed free throws and 3s by the Dons suddenly made it a close call.

Gonzaga also has to prove that it can win big WCC road games. They lost at Santa Clara and have had close calls at Pacific and Pepperdine. While this game isn't in the traditional War Memorial Gymnasium, look for the Chase Center to have plenty of Dons fans.

Next. Biggest storylines for each AP top-25 team. Biggest storylines for each AP top-25 team. dark

That road win over Kentucky may have unlocked something in the Bulldogs that can propel them to a 2-0 week. But if they can't beat San Francisco, beating Saint Mary's still might not be enough for the Selection Committee. In what should be a highly contested battle, look for Gonzaga to find a way to get the win.

Prediction: Gonzaga 82, San Francisco 76