Gonzaga and Washington have agreed to revive their basketball rivalry in 2016-17, but the long-standing basketball rivalry between Gonzaga and Washington State may be in jeopardy.
Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said Monday the Bulldogs have yet to decide whether to continue playing the Cougars after this season. The teams have played one another most years since 1907.
The Cougars lead the all-time series 98-51, but Gonzaga has won four in a row and 13 of the past 16 meetings. The Bulldogs pressured WSU into letting Gonzaga be the home team at last year’s game at the Spokane Arena.
Roth said strength of schedule, location and long-range scheduling plans enter into Gonzaga’s decisions on who to play. Roth said Gonzaga’s first priority for 2016-17 scheduling is “resume-building games.”
Gonzaga is expected to remain a Top 25 program this season. The Cougars appear to be in a rebuilding phase in coach Ernie Kent’s second year.
Gonzaga visits WSU Dec. 2, ending the three-year contract between the schools.
“You have a series (with any school), and then it comes to an end,” Roth said. “Then you’re in the discussions of, ‘Do we continue or not?’”
WSU athletic director Bill Moos said, “We want to play them. We want to keep that series going and the rivalry going. I think our fans really, really love the rivalry.”