Utah State - Utah Basketball
Utah center David Foster reaches out to grab the ball in front of Utah State forward Tai Wesley last year in Salt Lake City. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal)

Will tonight be the last meeting between Utah State and Utah on the hardwood?

It certainly looks that way.

Aggie men's head coach Stew Morrill informed a media group during a conference call Tuesday morning that the Utes are no longer interested in coming to Logan. A contract between the schools expires after the 223rd meeting - tonight- between the schools. It would have been USU's turn to go to Salt Lake City next season, which Morrill was ready to do.

However, when informed Utah was not interested in playing in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum any longer, the Aggie head coach said he is not about to just play away games in a long-time rivalry.

"It's really unfortunate," Morrill said. "After 102 years and 223 games that have basically been played on an equal basis home and home, and no matter what league anybody has been in, it doesn't appear to be the way it is going to be."

Utah has already informed Weber State it would no longer be traveling to Ogden. The Wildcats may continue to play the Utes in Salt Lake City as a money game.

"We are not going to schedule unless it is home and home," Morrill said. "Again, 102 years, 223 meetings. It's the in-state school and it's the university of the state. Most often times those two schools play in most states. They have a right to do what they want to do scheduling, but from a tradition standpoint, it's really too bad.

"... No disrespect to Weber State, but the Utah-Utah State rivalry goes a lot farther than he Weber series does. Playing a money game in Salt Lake does not appeal to me."

Utah is moving to the Pac-10 conference after this season.

"We have never had a problem scheduling Utah," Morrill said. "They just basically said they were going into the Pac-10 and their schedule was full, and they don't want to come to Logan. I guess everybody better enjoy this game, because it doesn't appear that we are going to be playing in the foreseeable future. Maybe that will change. I hope so."

Utah is the second-oldest rivalry in USU history. The Aggies have played BYU 225 times.

The Utes lead the all-time series, 130-92, but USU owns a 59-50 advantage in Logan. Utah defeated USU, 68-67, last year in Salt Lake City, and the Aggies beat the Utes, 66-64, the last time the two teams played in Logan on Dec. 22, 2008. USU has won seven of the last 12 games played in the series, including six straight at home.

Morrill is one of just three coaches in USU history to have a winning record against Utah. In his first 12 years at the Aggie helm, Morrill is 7-5 (.583) against the Utes. The only other USU coaches to have a winning record against Utah were Rod Tueller (12-6) and Ladell Anderson (11-9).

"It's really unfortunate that this could be the last time we have them (Utes) here," Morrill said.

 

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