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

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Four Practice
General NCAA basketball
Rick Osentoski / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

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.”


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.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Mitchell Republic." Often, the "Mitchell Republic" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What To Read Next
Prep basketball action from around the state for Friday, Jan. 27.
Stevens opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, erasing the 25-24 advantage the Kernels held at half. The Raiders never gave the lead back.
Members Only
Rapid City Stevens defeats the Mitchell Kernels 56-37.
“Women’s athletics at South Dakota State has always been valued and supported,” SDSU women's basketball coach Aaron Johnston said. “We’re lucky to have people that invest in women’s athletics here.”