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Gonzaga will have a tough non-conference schedule in 2014-15

Apr 19, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT

Gonzaga has become one of the most consistent college basketball programs in the country. With 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a perpetual spot near the top of the West Coast Conference, the Bulldogs are a threat to crack the top 25 nearly every season despite playing in a mid-major conference.

Scheduling marquee opponents, however, is always a challenge for programs like Gonzaga. It just doesn’t look for a power conference school to lose to a WCC school, even if that program is Gonzaga.

For the 2014-15 season, though, Gonzaga will have a very difficult schedule filled with really good opponents. According to a story from Matt Johnson in the Gonzaga Bulletin, the Zags will have a number of big games next season.

Johnson interviewed Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth and Roth revealed that the Bulldogs would have away games at Arizona and UCLA, a rematch with Memphis at home and a game with Washington State at Spokane Arena.

Gonzaga is also looking to finalize a home-and-home series with SMU that would begin next season and Mark Few’s ballclub is also participating in the Preseason NIT, which will give them some more opportunities to play some big games at a neutral site.

This is great news for the Zags as they’ll get a crack at some of the best Pac-12 schools in the country while also getting some potential home games against really good AAC programs like Memphis and SMU. If the Bulldogs can capitalize on some of those non-conference wins and play well in the WCC, it could lead to a desirable seed in next season’s NCAA Tournament.