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Gonzaga to play Villanova in 2017

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The 2017 non-conference slate = whoa.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Championship-Villanova Parade Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

And just like that, the 2017 non-conference slate is filled up to the brim with some bonafide jaw dropping games for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Jon Rothstein reported the Zags will face off against Villanova in the 2017 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

That is the same VIllanova that won the 2016 national championship. That is the same Villanova that is currently ranked No. 3 in preseason polls. Whoa.

The Zags are already involved in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, as well as have games at Washington and at San Diego State. The 2017 non-conference slate has rapidly filled up as one of the most brutally hard slates the Zags have ever looked at — and it might be filled up as much as it needs.

Assuming all the pieces that stay will end up staying, the Zags will enter the 2017-18 season minus one Przemek Karnowski and Jordan Mathews, but with a lot of experience. As good as this year’s team could be, next year’s squad should be even better, and the coaching staff is clearly hedging its best that direction.