Tennessee basketball team will face another tough, non-conference foe in 2018.
According to Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports, the Vols will face off with Gonzaga this year for the third time in four years.
The game will take place December 9, and it’s paired with a matchup between Grand Canyon and Nevada. The two games are make up the Jerry Colangelo classic, played in Phoenix, Arizona.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 18, 2018
Every recent meeting between the Vols and Zags have been on a neutral floor. UT have fallen short in the previous two matches, though both have been close games. There’s a decent chance that this year’s matchup will include two top ten teams.
Tennessee lost its first meeting with Gonzaga in Seattle 86-79, despite a strong second half comeback. In 2016, the Vols lost to Mark Few’s team by ten in Nashville. That 2016 Gonzaga team was the eventual National runner-up.
Last year year was supposed to be a “transition year” for Few and Gonzaga. But the Bulldogs were a four seed in the NCAA Tournament, and made their way into the Sweet 16.
This year, they return all but Johnathan Williams and Silas Melson, and should be even more dangerous.
Tennessee returns everyone except James Daniel III. That of course includes SEC player of the year Grant Williams and SEC co-sixth man of the year Lamonte Turner. SEC coach of the year Rick Barnes has also added grad transfer point guard Khwan Fore, and still have another scholarship remaining.
Gonzaga joins Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Memphis on the Vols’ upcoming non-conference schedule. They’ll also participate in the NIT Tip-Off alongside Kansas, Louisville and Marquette.