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WCC Announces Schedule, Zags Open League Play Against Portland Dec 28th

Despite going to the trouble of announcing a release date for the full men's conference basketball schedule only to not release it then, the full slate of WCC games trickled out of San Bruno on Friday. Ah, summer.

The league schedule will take on a sort of hybrid form of previous years - games will be played on mostly a Thursday/Saturday rotation with occasional contests occurring on Mondays (presumably for ESPN2's "Big Monday") and Wednesdays.

Gonzaga will open conference play Wednesday December 28th in the McCarthy Center versus Portland. The game will mark the only non-Thursday/Saturday night of league competition for the Zags, will be the first WCC basketball game of the year, and (if I'm not mistaken) will mark the first time the Zags have opened conference play in December.

BYU will play its first ever WCC basketball game the following night versus Saint Mary's in Moraga, in what is almost sure to be an ESPN matchup.

Gonzaga will then travel to Xavier for a previously scheduled non-conference date on New Years Eve, then come back home to take on Pepperdine on Thursday January 5th. In what has to be some sort of record, Gonzaga will as of now play ten of their first twelve games of the season in the state of Washington.

That will change once the Bulldogs travel to Moraga for a dangerous January 12th trap date at Saint Mary's.

Other dates of note include Santa Clara at home on Saturday January 7th, going to Provo to face BYU as a conference foe for the first time on February 2nd, Saint Mary's coming to Spokane on February 9th, GU travelling to Santa Clara on February 16th, and BYU coming to Spokane for the first time ever on February 23rd.

For those scoring at home, that means every Thursday in February is going to feature an absolutely crucial Gonzaga game. Maybe start saving some of your sick days for those February Fridays.

The WCC is billing the upcoming season as "perhaps the most highly anticipated conference season in the history of the West Coast Conference" - and rightfully so. Gonzaga, BYU, Santa Clara and Saint Mary's each have legitimate chances to earn a Top 25 ranking, and more games featuring WCC teams will be on the ESPN family of networks this season than ever before.

Click on below to view the Zags' working 2011-12 schedule. Most times and TV networks have not yet been set.

2011-2012 Gonzaga Men's Schedule (all times PST)

Nov 11th - vs. Eastern Washington University TBA

Nov 14th - vs. Washington State University TBA

Nov 26th - vs. Western Michigan University (RMHC game at Spokane Arena) 1:00 pm

Nov 30th - vs. University of Notre Dame 8:15 pm, tentatively on ESPN2

Dec 3rd - @ University of Illinois 3:15 pm, tentatively on ESPN2

Dec 10th - vs. Michigan State University 6:00 pm, tentatively on ESPN2

Dec 17th - vs. Arizona (BIS game at Key Arena in Seattle) TBA, CBS

Dec 20th - vs. Butler 6:00 pm, tentatively on ESPN2

Dec 28th - vs. Portland, TBA

Dec 31st - @ Xavier 5:00 pm, tentatively on ESPN2

Jan 5th - vs. Pepperdine TBA

Jan 7th - vs. Santa Clara TBA

Jan 12th - @ Saint Mary's TBA

Jan 14th - @ Loyola Marymount TBA

Jan 19th - vs. San Francisco TBA

Jan 21st - vs. San Diego TBA

Jan 26th - @ Portland TBA

Feb 2nd - @ BYU TBA

Feb 4th - @ Pepperdine TBA

Feb 9th - vs. Saint Mary's TBA

Feb 11th - vs. Loyola Marymount TBA

Feb 16th - @ Santa Clara TBA

Feb 18th - @ San Francisco TBA

Feb 23rd - vs. BYU TBA

Feb 25th - @ San Diego TBA