Barring a major change of heart on both sides, the Boise State and Idaho men’s basketball teams will not meet this season, the first time the two won’t face off in 45 years.
Multiple sources close to the discussions told the Idaho Statesman the Broncos and Vandals had considered continuing the rivalry, but both sides have cooled for varying reasons. The Gem State rivals have met 89 times in a matchup that dates back to Jan. 9, 1971. Boise State has won the last six meetings, most recently an 86-75 victory Nov. 25, at Boise’s CenturyLink Arena. The last four meetings were all at neutral sites in the Treasure Valley, with a two-year agreement at CenturyLink Arena ending with last year’s game.
Scheduling the Vandals has not helped the Broncos much in the RPI, as Idaho has finished 239th and 267th the past two seasons. Vandals coach Don Verlin expressed hopes last year to schedule a home-and-home series, but also admitted he didn’t see it happening any time soon. Boise State and Idaho also have not played in football since 2010, prior to which they had met every season since 1971.
After the Statesman’s initial report, The Spokesman-Review spoke to Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear, who confirmed the news, saying, “It is unfortunate that Idaho and Boise State are not playing in football or basketball.”
Both sides initially had spoken about continuing the rivalry, but after a suitable compromise could not be reached, the game was not seen as a priority for either staff. Neither school has announced its full schedule yet, however.
The last three meetings had been during Thanksgiving week, but the Broncos will play in the Wooden Legacy in Orange County on Thanksgiving Day against UC Irvine, then either Michigan State or Boston College on Nov. 28. Sources also indicated the Broncos will host UC Davis, a 25-win team last season, the week after Christmas, a time when the Broncos and Vandals had met in 2011.