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Washington and Gonzaga agree to renew series, beginning in 2016

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

If I ran college sports, geographically logical rivalries would never be out of vogue. In fact, they'd be mandated.

Games like Washington-Gonzaga. It doesn't light the nation's hair on fire, but it's a good rivalry that dates back to 1910, and should never take a year off.

But it has. The good news is, the schools have jointly announced the rivalry will be renewed in the 2016-17 season, a full decade removed from the most recent game between the Huskies and the Zags. It's not yet known who will get the hosting duties for years one/three, two/four, but at least this puppy is back on.

"This series is great for the fans of our state,” Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement. "The fans have shown that they really appreciate the game with Washington and Gonzaga. I mean, every one of them since we've been here has been a sellout, or close to it. There's a lot of enthusiasm and hype centered around the game."

Best line from the press release? "Both programs think having the games on campus instead is ideal."

YES. You see the writers on this site constantly stumping for non-league games at campus sites in November and December, when college hoops competes for attention with peak football season and the NBA's early portion of the schedule.

“To reward our fans, a game like that with Gonzaga -- or any other high-profile opponent – we'd much rather play on campus,” Romar said in the statement. "So to reward them, they get to see it right here, where we are. The students are right here. They don't have to get in a car and drive to where it is. It will be right here on campus."

The teams played eight times in the 1920s and 15 times from 1930-45, per UW. There was a cold war from 1946-1971. Then sporadic play from then through 2006.

"We always knew we would resume the series,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in a statement. "But our schedules have been full the last few years. We have an opportunity in 2016-17 and both teams were agreeable to playing."


Image via Washington Athletics.

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