The Bison will play at Gonzaga the week after Thanksgiving. The Zags will likely be a national top-5 team in the preseason polls. pic.twitter.com/AsiDyN71zf— NDSU Basketball (@NDSUmbb) June 28, 2018
The two teams have met before, back in the 2015 NCAA Tournament when Gonzaga defeated the Bison in the first round, 86-76. That was the last appearance in the NCAA Tournament for North Dakota State. Last year, the Bison finished with a 15-17 record and were ranked No. 176 by Ken Pomeroy.
The Zags have been on a binge of high-profile non-conference announcements, but it was expected that eventually a more middle of the road opponent would land on the schedule. After the Maui Invitational, which could see the Zags playing the likes of Arizona, Auburn, Duke, Illinois, Iowa State, San Diego State, or Xavier, the beginning of December already had two monster matchups in place: neutral game against Tennessee, and road game at University of North Carolina.
When you add on a home game against an improved Washington Huskies squad, a road game against the Creighton Bluejays, and a slightly decimated but still Power 5 Texas A&M squad, the Zags non-conference slate is a brutal trek. It is good to see, however, that the Zags so far haven’t gone the route of Howard or Incarnate Word quite yet, and are still booking decent basketball squads to fill in the schedule.