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Game Preview: Zags vs. Chicago State

The regular season isn’t done, yet.

NCAA Basketball: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The WCC Tournament bracket has been released, but the Gonzaga Bulldogs still have one game remaining in their regular season schedule. The Zags will be celebrating Senior Night when they host Chicago State on Wednesday at McCarthey Athletic Center.

This non-conference game is a bit unusual for Gonzaga, not just because of the timing but because they will be taking on a Cougars squad that is the only full-time independent in Division I (sorry, Hartford) and has played 21 of 29 games on the road. This game will act as a tune-up for the Zags as well as a chance for the spotlight to shine on the seniors in their final game at The Kennel.

Meet the opponent

Chicago State Cougars (11-18, #285 NET, #277 KenPom)

The Cougars are in their first year as a Division I independent after eight seasons in the WAC. They are currently riding a three-game win streak, albeit with two of those wins coming against lower division teams. Gerald Gillion’s squad has six wins against Division I competition this year, and lost by just seven to Stanford in January. They are led by sophomore wing Wesley Cardet, Jr., who is averaging 16.8 points per game on the year, including 31 in the aforementioned game against the Cardinal.

What to watch for

(One last) Timme Time: With his recent announcement that this season will be his last as a Zag, it is now official that this game will be Drew Timme’s final in The Kennel. So regardless of the outcome, take time if you can to appreciate one of the all-time greats in his final game before the home crowd.

Bolton and Watson: Rasir Bolton and Anton Watson will also be recognized on Senior Night. The fifth-year Bolton joins Timme as the other Zags who will definitely be playing in their final game in Spokane, while Watson has yet to make a decision on his potential return for a fifth year. Either way, both have had great careers and will be rightfully honored tomorrow night.

The game at hand: It’s said a lot when the Zags are facing lower level teams, but this may be the ultimate “look past them” type game for Gonzaga. It would be easy to let your guard down if you’re the Zags, especially on an emotional night with the WCC Tournament looming, but they still have to get the job done and play all 40 minutes before the Madness begins.