Gonzaga to take on Butler next season?

Gonzaga and Butler have been two of the best non-BCS programs for the past few years. Will the two powers hook up in 2010-11? (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Even though the offseason is torturous in length, one of the most exciting aspects of it has to be seeing how Gonzaga lines up its schedule for the next season.  Mark Few and Co. have already put together some games for next season including dates with Illinois, Memphis, Xavier, Washington State, Wake Forest, and of course the CBE Classic which features Duke, Kansas State, and Marquette.  That slate of games alone is enough to fill up my wish list of nonconference matchups but it appears that the staff is still working hard to secure more contests against top tier programs. 

Howie Stalwick of the Kitsap Sun is reporting that the staff has been working hard to secure a series with the Butler Bulldogs.  Last season's national runners-up will likely return every major piece from their outstanding 2009-10 campaign and should be a shoe-in top five team with the polls are released.  Here is what Jerry Krause what to say about the prospects for a GU-BU series:

"We’ve talked to them the last few years, actually," Krause said. "We’ve never been able to firm things up."

Over the past few season's, Gonzaga has really put more thought into negotiating deals that have their best interests at hand.  The program is now at a place where it doesn't have to cater to BCS programs and we have seen that with Wake Forest in K2 last season and Michigan State coming in the 2011-12 season.  Butler, like Gonzaga and Xavier, is in a similar place in terms of the major/mid-major debate and has similar things in mind when it schedules.  For that reason, it is pretty easy to see why things may have not worked  out in the past between these two programs. 

It will be interesting to see how these negotiations go seeing as though Gonzaga's schedule is already pretty loaded.  Illinois and Memphis are going to be nationally ranked clubs next season (Max has them both in his top 10) and then you look at that CBE Classic field and the schedule becomes pretty dizzying.  The competitor in me says that this is a game that just must happen.  It is a game that the nation wants to see and the idea of the Zags playing Butler and Xavier in the same season is a very exciting prospect. 

Do you like the idea of Gonzaga taking on Gordon Hayward and Butler in 2010-11?


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