College Basketball games to watch in Week 1 before Gonzaga tips off against Yale

A lot has been made about Gonzaga showing up to the 2023-24 college basketball season fashionably late. The Zags won’t play their first regular season game until Friday, November 10 when they host the Yale Bulldogs out of the Ivy League at 6:00 PM.

But what are Zag fans to do until then? I’ve provided a look at a pair of games each on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday that could/should be of interest to Gonzaga fans and will help scratch the college basketball itch before Friday’s tip.

(All times are in Pacific Time)

Tuesday, November 7

Game 1: Auburn vs. Baylor at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD

Time: 6:00 PM

How to watch: ESPN

A chance to see Baylor in action and perhaps draw some conclusions about Gonzaga’s exhibition win, plus this is quite clearly the highest profile matchup of the day on Tuesday.

Game 2: Westcliff at LMU

Time: 7:00 PM

How to watch: ESPN+

A chance to not only see a future WCC opponent, but a first glance at what role Gonzaga transfer Dominick Harris will play for the Lions and their new look backcourt this season.

Wednesday, November 8

Game 1: Florida Atlantic vs. Loyola Chicago (Wintrust Arena in Chicago)

Time: 4:00 PM

How to Watch: (Might have to get creative)

Are the Owls for real? A top 10 preseason ranked team, FAU returns all their starters and take on an A-10 team in Loyola-Chicago who is looking to bounce back from a rough year. A solid mid-major battle early in the week.

Game 2: Jackson State at San Diego

Time: 7:00 PM PT

How to Watch: ESPN+

Zags will host Jackson State in December and will play Steve Lavin and the Toreros twice, making this a solid ‘research’ game for Zag fans.

Thursday, November 9

Game 1: Cal State Bakersfield at USC

Time: 6:00 PM

How to Watch: Pac-12 Network

Bakersfield and USC are each future Gonzaga opponents, with USC and the Zags squaring off in Las Vegas in early December. This game is a good primer for both squads, although it likely won’t be too competitive.

Game 2: New Mexico at Saint Mary’s

Time: 7:00 PM

How to Watch: ESPN+

This is one of the biggest games of the first week, with a pair of powerhouse west coast mid-major programs squaring off. SMC is obviously a Top 25 team, and will play Gonzaga probably three times this year, while the Aggies received votes and are led by two of the best guards in the country, Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. This one should be a whole heck of a lot of fun.

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