Kentucky and Gonzaga have agreed to a home-and-home series beginning in 2022, setting up two likely top-five preseason teams to meet in a clash of heavyweights during the nonconference schedule later this year. The two teams will meet first in Spokane, Washington, on Nov. 20, 2022, followed by a showdown in Lexington, Kentucky, in Rupp Arena sometime in 2023.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few helped announce the news Tuesday night by calling into a telethon in which UK coach John Calipari and his team were answering calls in a fundraising effort to assist parts of the state that was affected by recent flooding.
“This guy gets on me all the time. He wants to schedule a game,” said Calipari in front of Kentucky fans in a call with Few. “But everything’s got to be on his terms. I thought we were Kentucky?”
“First of all, we were fine,” quipped Few. “We were looking good, and you just said, ‘Hey, you wanna play?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m good with playing.'”
And so it went.
The two college hoops powers have played each other just once in the history of their programs. That came nearly two decades ago, in 2002, when Kentucky bested Gonzaga 80-72 in the Maui Invitational. Few was the Zags coach then, having taken the head coaching gig in 1999, but Calipari was coaching Memphis at the time.
The meeting between Gonzaga and Kentucky is more than just a meeting of two of the most consistent winners in the sport over the last few decades. In 2022, it will also feature a head-to-head between reigning National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe from Kentucky and his dominant counterpart, Drew Timme of Gonzaga. Gonzaga and Kentucky also rank No. 1 and No. 4, respectively, in the CBS Sports Top 25 (And 1).