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BYU and No. 1 Gonzaga move up February matchup to Thursday

With Pacific and Santa Clara programs on pause due to COVID-19 related issues, Cougars and Bulldogs opt to move up their game

Gonzaga forward Filip Petrusev (3) and BYU forward Gavin Baxter (25) battle for a rebound in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

BYU basketball has gone without playing for two weeks, but it seems the Cougars have finally been able to secure a game. And the matchup will be televised on ESPN.

BYU (9-2) will now play top-ranked Gonzaga (10-0) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in Spokane, Wash. — a reschedule of the previously scheduled Feb. 6 game. The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman from Stadium.

The Cougars were originally scheduled to host Pacific that day, but the game against the Tigers was postponed on Monday. It was the third consecutive postponement for BYU, which has yet to open West Coast Conference play.

Gonzaga has had better luck with league games, having started conference play on Saturday in a 85-62 win over San Francisco. It was the only game out of the WCC’s five originally scheduled weekend games to be played.

The Bulldogs had Santa Clara on the schedule for Thursday, but the Broncos are still coming back from their own COVID-19 pause.

BYU and Gonzaga weren’t scheduled to meet until February, but now have the possibility of playing three times this season.

The matchup was initially hinted at Monday night when BYU coach Mark Pope tweeted:

“It’s go time! Get ready Cougar Nation! We got a GAME!!”

With the Feb. 6 date now open for both BYU and Gonzaga, both programs and the WCC will work on further modifications in the conference schedule. The Cougars may be able to move one of the three postponed games into that date.

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