A national audience will have a chance to watch the first installment of Gonzaga-BYU this Thursday.

The teams widely projected to finish one and two this year in the West Coast Conference will tip off at 8 p.m. this Thursday at McCarthey Athletic Center. The game will air on ESPN2 with Jay Bilas and Dave Flemming handling broadcast duties.

The fourth-ranked Bulldogs (12-2, 1-0) are coming off a 117-84 victory over Pepperdine in their WCC opener on Saturday. The Cougars (14-3, 2-0) are still receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and have won four consecutive games, including WCC contests against Pacific and Saint Mary’s.

Gonzaga has played on the ESPN family of networks five times this season, appearing on the main ESPN channel when it played No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Duke. Games against No. 5 Texas and No. 16 Alabama aired on ESPN2 and a fifth game against Central Michigan in Las Vegas was broadcasted on ESPNU. The Zags played No. 25 Texas Tech at the Footprint Center in Phoenix in a game that aired on CBS.

The aforementioned game against Central Michigan was GU’s only other 8 p.m. tipoff in 2021-22. A 107-54 win over the Chippewas signified the Bulldogs’ largest margin of victory this season.

The Zags are 21-7 all-time against BYU and have won nine of the last 10 matchups.

Theo Lawson can be reached at (509) 939-5928 or theol@spokesman.com.