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Gonzaga to play #15 West Virginia in place of #12 Tennessee in Indianapolis

Tennessee had to drop out of their game against Gonzaga due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the Vols.
Credit: AP
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few directs his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Southern in Spokane, Wash., Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Gonzaga won 101-62. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga has found a formidable opponent to replace the Tennessee Vols in the Jimmy V Classic.

The Zags will now take on West Virginia in the event that is slated to tip off on Dec. 2. The game right now is scheduled to be played at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN.

The Vols were forced to drop out of the event after a COVID-19 outbreak on their squad that included head coach Rick Barnes contracting the virus. It is unknown the amount of personnel within Tennessee's program who have tested positive.

Tennessee is ranked #12 in the AP Top 25 poll, but the Mountaineers are right behind them at #15.

The last time West Virginia and Gonzaga played was an instant classic. The teams last met up in the Sweet 16 in 2017 that had Bulldog fans on the edge of their seats until the last second. Gonzaga won 61-58 thanks in part to a Jordan Matthews three in the final minute. It's a shot that lives in Gonzaga lore.

The two programs have also played each other in the regular season, including a game at Gonzaga in 2013 and another at West Virginia in 2014. The Bulldogs have a perfect 4-0 record against the Mountaineers.

Gonzaga also is in a bit of limbo with their game against Baylor on Dec. 5. The Bears' head coach Scott Drew tested positive for coronavirus this past weekend, but it has not been reported that the program has had a positive test since. The Bears did cancel their game against Seton Hall on Tuesday that was slated to be played on Sunday. However, late Tuesday night it was reported that the Bears are trying to set up a last second MTE in Las Vegas this weekend.