The red-hot USF Dons men’s basketball team is playing at the Chase Center tonight in a monster game that will be on national TV (well, ESPN2), but they’re up against Gonzaga, who have beaten them 28 times in a row.

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t start paying attention to college basketball until March (which is tomorrow) here is your local update: Spokane, Washington’s Gonzaga is very good this year, as they are every year. But their upstart Bay Area rival, Moraga’s St. Mary’s Gaels, are even better, having won their last 15 (!) games in a row, and currently ranked No. 17 in the country. And also in the mix are your University of San Francisco Dons, who are just a game behind those West Coast Conference (WCC) leaders, and all three teams are shoo-ins to make the March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament.

They’re wrapping up the regular season this weekend before conference tournaments begin, and the biggest game by far is the Dons playing the Gonzaga Bulldogs Thursday night, a game so significant they’re playing it at the Chase Center. The 8pm PT game will be broadcast nationally, though ESPN2, as the main ESPN has some hockey game on instead.

Okay, so who are this year’s USF Dons? There aren't many players left from the 2022 team that made that March Madness tournament. But their big star is towering six-foot, eight-inch forward Jonathan Mogbo, who leads the team in scoring (14.9 points per game) and has the third-highest shooting percentage in NCAA men’s basketball this season. There are also some fun role players in the Chinese-born forward Junjie "Barry" Wang, San Ramon product Ryan Beasley at point guard, and the first Mongolian player ever to win a Division 1 scholarship, the nearly seven-foot Enkhiin-Od “Mike” Sharavjamts.

Parenthetically, Sharavjamts’s father was the first Asian player ever to make the Harlem Globetrotters roster.

This will not be an easy win, as the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the No. 23 team in the country, and already beat the Dons earlier this year 77-72 in Spokane. Moreover, Gonzaga has beaten USF 28 consecutive times in a row, a streak that dates back to 2012.

The USF Dons come into the game 22-7, and 11-3 in the WCC (their only conference losses have been to St. Mary’s and Gonzaga). After tonight’s game, they wrap up the regular season Saturday at Santa Clara. The WCC Tournament begins this Thursday, March 7, Selection Sunday for the March Madness tournament is Sunday March 17, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament itself begins Tuesday, March 19 with the “First Four” games.

Related: USF Dons Basketball Team Makes March Madness for the First Time Since 1998, Plays Thursday Night [SFist]

Image: SPOKANE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 25: Malik Thomas #1 of the San Francisco Dons drives against Nolan Hickman #11 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center on January 25, 2024 in Spokane, Washington. Gonzaga defeats San Francisco 77-72. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)