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Gonzaga to Play Twelve Regular Season Games on the ESPN Family of Networks

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It's always pretty exciting when the conference schedule is released because it reaffirms my belief in the West Coast Conference. People may whine and complain that it is not the most competitive conference but they have done a pretty good job about marketing their product. While the Pac-10 is playing late night games on Fox Sports, the West Coast Conference has an outstanding television deal with the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Last year was the first year the WCC was on the Thursday/Saturday shift of ESPN. They had previously been the late night game on Big Monday but with Thursdays and Saturdays, it gives the conference the chance to have a few primetime games on two very desirable days. Gonzaga will have seven conference games televised on ESPN and obviously the two nonconference games against Wake and Oklahoma. Combine that with ESPN broadcast of the Maui Invitational and the CBS coverage of games against Michigan State, Davidson, Duke, Illinois, and Memphis, it is pretty clear that this young Gonzaga team will be getting as much exposure as ever. The deal not only helps showcase the conference, but it also boosts recruiting, well only if Gonzaga and the rest of the conference shows well.

I hope I counted right but with three Maui games, two nonconference games, and seven conference games on ESPN, the Zags will have twelve chances to showcase their skills on the national stage in the regular season.

Here's a glimpse at the dates of West Coast Conference action this year:

Saturday, December 5
Wake Forest at Gonzaga - 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Thursday, December 31
Oklahoma at Gonzaga - 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

Friday, January 8
Saint Mary's at San Francisco
San Diego at Santa Clara

Saturday, January 9
Gonzaga at Portland - 7:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine

Sunday, January 10
Saint Mary's at Santa Clara
San Diego at San Francisco

Thursday, January 14
Gonzaga at Saint Mary's - 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Santa Clara at Pepperdine - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Portland at San Diego
San Francisco at Loyola Marymount

Saturday, January 16
Gonzaga at San Diego
Portland at Saint Mary's
San Francisco at Pepperdine
Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount

Thursday, January 21
Pepperdine at Gonzaga
Loyola Marymount at Portland
San Diego at Saint Mary's - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

Saturday, January 23
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga
Pepperdine at Portland
Santa Clara at San Francisco

Thursday, January 28
Gonzaga at Santa Clara - 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Portland at San Francisco - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Saint Mary's at Pepperdine
San Diego at Loyola Marymount

Saturday, January 30
Gonzaga at San Francisco
Portland at Santa Clara
Saint Mary's at Loyola Marymount
San Diego at Pepperdine

click through the jump to see the schedule for February and beyond...

Thursday, February 4
Portland at Gonzaga - 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
San Francisco at San Diego
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's

Saturday, February 6
Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount
San Francisco at Saint Mary's
Santa Clara at San Diego

Thursday, February 11
Saint Mary's at Gonzaga - 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
San Diego at Portland - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara
Pepperdine at San Francisco

Saturday, February 13
Saint Mary's at Portland - TBA (ESPN2)
San Diego at Gonzaga - 7:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Loyola Marymount at San Francisco
Pepperdine at Santa Clara

Thursday, February 18
Saint Mary's at San Diego - 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount
Portland at Pepperdine

Saturday, February 20
Gonzaga at Pepperdine
Portland at Loyola Marymount
San Francisco at Santa Clara

Thursday, February 25
Santa Clara at Gonzaga - 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Loyola Marymount at San Diego - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Pepperdine at Saint Mary's
San Francisco at Portland

Saturday, February 27
Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's
Pepperdine at San Diego
San Francisco at Gonzaga
Santa Clara at Portland

Sunday, March 7
WCC Tournament Semifinal #1 - 5:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Sunday, March 7
WCC Tournament Semifinal #2 - 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Monday, March 8
WCC Tournament Championship Game - 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)