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Idaho’s Don Verlin wants home-and-home with Boise State

While Idahoans wait for the Idaho - Boise State football rivalry to start up again (and they might be waiting for a loooong time), the two schools are willing to play each other regularly in one sport, at least.

The two schools meet tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise for their annual men's basketball rivalry game, which has been played every year since both UI and BSU were in the Big Sky Conference.  

Read what Idaho coach Don Verlin has to say about the game after the jump. 

Idaho and Boise State have clashed in men's basketball every season since 1971. The two schools have maintained the rivalry even through a series of conference re-alignment in recent decades. The two current head coaches wanting the game to happen has a lot to do with that. 

"I have a good relationship with (Boise State coach) Leon (Rice)," Verlin said. "I’ve known him a long time. It goes back 20-plus years and Leon is a good guy."

Since 2011, the games have been played on "neutral" courts in the Treasure Valley area. The 2011 game was in Nampa, Idaho (a half-hour drive from Boise) while the last two were at CenturyLink Arena. 

Verlin wants a home-and-home format. 

"Is that game important? Yeah. I just wish it was played differently," Verlin said. "I wish they would come up here and play once in a while. That doesn’t seem to be something that’s going to happen in the near future. That game will probably continue to be played in Boise."

As for Verlin and Rice discussing a future home-and-home series ....

"I think that decision is made above Leon and I," Verlin said. 

Idaho is coming off a 78-67 loss at Northern Illinois on Thursday. The Broncos are returning to Boise after being handled 78-54 on the road by now No. 2 ranked Wisconsin.

The Broncos have a five-game winning streak in the series, including a 98-89 win last season. Idaho's last win the series was a 79-55 conference win at Taco Bell Arena on Feb. 6, 2010. 

And, it looks like the cozy CenturyLink Arena will be packed. 




Sean Kramer
Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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