KU basketball to face Gonzaga, Saint Joseph’s at Fort Myers Tip-Off

Matt Galloway
Bill Self and Kansas basketball will play a pair of games at the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Nov. 26-27 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla., beginning with a high-profile showdown against Gonzaga on Thanksgiving.

LAWRENCE — Kansas basketball has finalized a key piece in its high-profile start to the upcoming season.

The Jayhawks on Friday were announced as one of four teams that will participate in the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Nov. 26-27 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. KU will play a pair of matchups at the two-day event, beginning with a 12:30 p.m. showdown against fellow powerhouse Gonzaga (FOX) on Thanksgiving and concluding with a 1 p.m. Nov. 27 contest versus Saint Joseph’s (FS1).

KU and Gonzaga, which finished last season ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the final Associated Press poll before the premature end to the campaign, hold two of the longest active NCAA Tournament appearance streaks. The Jayhawks’ run of 30 straight berths stands as the longest in the nation, while the Bulldogs’ 21-appearance streak ranks fourth.

KU finished its most recent season at 28-3, while Gonzaga was 31-2.

The Jayhawks and Bulldogs have met just once before in the programs’ history, an 80-66 victory for KU on Nov. 13, 1998. Saint Joseph’s, meanwhile, trails KU 5-2 in that series’ all-time record, but the Hawks have taken both prior neutral site meetings between the programs.

Auburn will be the fourth and final participant in the Fort Myers Tip-Off, which will be contested in front of “an extremely limited number of fans,” event organizers announced.

Other notable nonconference matchups for the Jayhawks this season include a neutral site meeting with Kentucky (Dec. 1), a home tilt against Creighton (Dec. 8) and an SEC/Big 12 Challenge battle against Tennessee (Jan. 30 in Knoxville, Tenn.).