Gonzaga to Play Clemson - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gonzaga to Play Clemson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Gonzaga University's men's basketball team will open the 2012 Old Spice Classic against Clemson University Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on ESPN2 to conclude the first day of action.

The Bulldogs, who won the 2008 title, are ranked 20th in the ESPN.com pre-season Top 25 poll.

This will be just the second meeting between Gonzaga and Clemson on the hardwood. The Bulldogs claimed an 84-71 victory over the then-fifith-ranked TigersNov. 23, 1997, in the championship game of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. 

Gonzaga went 26-7 overall last season, 13-3 and second place in the West Coast Conference. The Bulldogs had a streak of 11 straight WCC regular-season crowns snapped, second most in NCAA Division I history behind UCLA. The Zags received an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament, downed West Virginia University in the second round and fell to Ohio State University in the third round.

Clemson went 16-15 overall, 8-8 and seventh place in the ACC. The Tigers, coached  by Brad Brownell entering his third season, lost to Virginia Tech 68-63 in the first round of the in the ACC Tournament.

The Bulldogs are in the same bracket as the University of Oklahoma and UTEP. The first-round winners meet in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 23, at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on ESPN2 with the losers doing battle Friday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

The tournament takes Saturday off, with the placing games Sunday, Nov. 25. The title game is sltaed for 4 p.m. Pacific Time on ESPN2.

All 12 games of the tournament will be played at the HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near in Lake Buena  Vista, Fla., near Orlando.

The other half of the bracket has West Virginia University meeting Marist University at 9 a.m. Pacific Time to tip off the tournament, followed by Vanderbilt University and Davidson College at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.

Four of the eight teams in the field were in the NCAA Tournament field this past March. In addition to Gonzaga and WVU, Vanderbilt advanced to the third round and Davidson lost in the second round.

Dayton won the 2011 Old Spice Classic title, while Notre Dame captured the 2010 title. Florida State won the 2009 Classic, and additional winners include Gonzaga in 2008, North Carolina State in 2007 and Arkansas in 2006.