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Perennial No. 1s Baylor, Gonzaga to meet for college basketball showdown in Sioux Falls in December

Game to be played Saturday, Dec. 2 at Sanford Pentagon

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Rick Osentoski / USA Today Sports
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears — the nation’s only programs ranked No. 1 in each of the last three seasons — will play on Dec. 2 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

It is a rematch of the 2021 NCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship in which Baylor defeated Gonzaga 86-70 in Indianapolis on April 5, 2021. Ticket information and a game time will be announced later.

“Gonzaga and Baylor have catapulted into the short list of elite programs in all of college basketball, and we are thrilled they will have their title game rematch at the Sanford Pentagon,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of Sanford Sports. “The Pentagon is the perfect venue for early season, neutral-court games to see where teams stack up, and often times these matchups are a preview of who you’ll see playing for conference titles and making deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.”

This is the second time Gonzaga will play at the Sanford Pentagon. On Dec. 19, 2020, the No. 1 Bulldogs defeated the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes, 99-88. Future top-five NBA draft pick Jalen Suggs scored a team-high 27 points in the victory. A member of the West Coast Conference, Gonzaga is coming off a 28-4 season and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16. The game was closed to the public and played in front of 243 fans, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re excited to play such a talented opponent in a great venue,” said Mark Few, Gonzaga head coach. “We have tremendous respect for Coach Drew and his program. A game like this showcases college basketball and we thank Lea Miller-Tooley and the Sanford Pentagon for helping put it together.”

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This is the first trip to Heritage Court for Baylor, members of the Big 12 Conference. The Bears, finished the 2021-22 season with a 27-7 record, falling to eventual national runner-up, North Carolina, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m really excited for this early-season matchup against one of the sport’s premier teams,” said Scott Drew, Baylor head coach. “Baylor basketball has so much respect for coach Few and the entire Gonzaga program, and we share the same scheduling philosophy about testing ourselves early in the season. This will be a terrific event for college basketball in one of the game’s most unique venues at the Sanford Pentagon.”

This will be the seventh meeting between Gonzaga and Baylor.

“To have a national championship rematch between two perennial powerhouses is going to be an incredible game that college basketball enthusiasts will be thrilled to watch,” said Miller-Tooley, president of Complete Sports Management. “We are proud to partner with the Sanford Pentagon to make this happen.”

Complete Sports Management is the sports marketing firm that puts on the highly acclaimed Battle 4 Atlantis and has sponsored Division I men's college events at the Pentagon in 2020 and 2021.

Since opening in 2013, the Sanford Pentagon has hosted 38 Division I men’s college basketball games. The Pentagon has also hosted 16 NCAA Division I women's college basketball games including a double header last season featuring eventual national champion South Carolina, Final Four participant Louisville, Sweet 16 participant South Dakota and NCAA Tournament qualifier Arizona.

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