Report: Gonzaga, UCLA finalizing two-year series beginning with 2024-25 game at LA's Intuit Dome

May 9—Gonzaga continues to add big names to its roster, and to its nonconference schedule, ahead of what should be a highly anticipated 2024-25 season for Mark Few and the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga and UCLA, two West Coast college hoops powers who've become almost inseparable over the past half-decade, have drummed up more excitement for the 2024-25 season, agreeing to a two-year nonconference series, according to a report from CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein.

The Zags and Bruins will open the series this fall in Inglewood, California, with a game at the Intuit Dome, the new home of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. The return game will take place during the 2025-26 season at Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena.

According to the CBS report, dates and times for both games are still to be determined.

College basketball fans have been able to plan on regular encounters between Gonzaga and UCLA over the past two decades. Those have become especially frequent since 2020-21, when the Bulldogs and Bruins met in an epic Final Four showdown that culminated with Jalen Suggs' famous buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the second overtime.

The teams have met in each of the three years since, all producing the same outcome, and UCLA will look to break out of a four-game losing streak when the Bruins and Zags face off next season.

Gonzaga cruised to an 83-63 victory over UCLA in 2022 at the Empire Classic in Las Vegas when the teams were respectively ranked No. 1 and 2 in the country. There was another memorable NCAA Tournament meeting the following season, when the Bulldogs and Bruins met in the Sweet 16, also played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Gonzaga rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit before Julian Strawther hit a trailer 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to 79-76 victory.

During the latest encounter between the programs, Gonzaga's Anton Watson scored a career-high 32 points and guided the Bulldogs to a 69-65 victory on the final day of the Maui Invitational in Honolulu.

Gonzaga owns a 7-2 record in the series, winning four straight against UCLA and five of the past six.

With the exception of Watson, Gonzaga returns seven of the eight players who appeared in the last meeting between the schools. The Bulldogs also made a few key additions in the transfer portal, adding Pepperdine wing Michael Ajayi and recently getting a commitment from Arkansas guard Khalif Battle.

UCLA's roster has undergone significant change since the Bruins failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament and finished the season with a losing record (16-17) for the first time since 2015-16.

Sixth-year coach Mick Cronin has loaded up on transfers. One of the most notable is former Gonzaga guard Dominick Harris, who averaged 14.3 points and shot 44% from 3-point range last season at Loyola Marymount before missing the final stretch of the season with an injury. Harris scored 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the field during LMU's game at Gonzaga, but he missed the return game in Los Angeles.

Cronin's transfer class also includes USC forward Kobe Johnson, Louisville guard Skyy Clarke, Oklahoma State forward Eric Dailey Jr., Oregon State forward Tyler Bilodeau and South Dakota State forward William Kyle III.

The Bruins recently signed Harvard Westlake guard and Gatorade California Player of the Year Trent Perry, a former USC signee who once named Gonzaga as one of his six finalists.

UCLA also returns contributors from last year's team, including guards Dylan Andrews, Sebastian Mack, Brandon Williams and Lazar Stefanovic, along with frontcourt players Aday Mara and Devin Williams.

Both teams have appeared in various way-too-early college basketball polls, with Gonzaga checking in at No. 4 in ESPN's latest ranking and UCLA coming in at No. 19.

Other highlights from Gonzaga's nonconference schedule include a trip to the Battle 4 Atlantis, where the Bulldogs could face Arizona, Indiana, Louisville, Creighton, West Virginia, Oklahoma or Davidson over the course of three days, and neutral-site games against reigning national champion UConn at New York's Madison Square Garden and Kentucky at Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena.

The Bulldogs are also scheduled to host Washington and travel to face San Diego State at Viejas Arena.