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Gonzaga to play BYU on Thursday in place of Santa Clara

The Broncos announced a COVID-19 pause last week.
Credit: AP
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few shouts to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against San Francisco in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. — One of the biggest games of the season is coming a month early for Gonzaga fans, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday morning and a source confirmed to KREM.

BYU blog Vanquish the Foe was the first to report the news. National college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman confirmed that report.

The WCC announced later in the afternoon that Gonzaga and BYU would tip at 5:30 PM on ESPN.

BYU will travel to play in the Kennel in place of Santa Clara on Thursday. The Broncos announced a COVID-19 pause on Dec. 30 and are unable to play this week because of it. BYU's prior Thursday opponent, Pacific, also is on pause due to COVID-19. 

Gonzaga was not slated to play BYU until Feb. 6 in Spokane.

Rumors of the potential matchup began on Monday night. BYU Head Coach Mark Pope also tweeted on Monday night that his program had a game in the works for Thursday.

This will be BYU's first game since Dec. 23. Both of their West Coast Conference games last week were postponed due to coronavirus issues with opponents.

Gonzaga and BYU are the clear cut No.1 and No. 2 teams in the conference, so this is a big-time matchup.