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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak celebrates the first half play. University of Utah leads Arizona State 51-26 at the half Sunday, February 23, 2014, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Utes, Aggies still trying to schedule basketball series, won't play next season

Stew Morrill's Aggies in the Huntsman Center? Larry Krystkowiak's Utes facing the roar of the Spectrum?

It'll happen, both sides say, but not next season.

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Utah and Utah State are still working to schedule a basketball series, which would resume one of the longest rivalries in each school's history. The series stands at 223 games, which Utah leads either 130-93 or 129-94, depending on whose media guide you trust. But the tradition of playing at least one game a year ended in 2010, during the Jim Boylen era.

Both Utah athletic director Chris Hill and Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes said they want to resume the rivalry, but were unable to schedule a contest for the 2014-15 season.

"We are anxious to get something done as soon as we can," Barnes said. "We're trying to figure out dates in the future. We haven't talked in a while about it, but we should talk again soon."

The tentative plan is to play in Logan in odd years, and play in Salt Lake City in even years. Krystkowiak has not yet led the Utes against the Aggies, but Morrill is 8-5 against Utah since coming to Logan.

Utah State's only interest in the rivalry is playing a home-and-home series, and Utah has met them on that point. Hill said scheduling a game with the Aggies has been "a little more difficult" than some other series the Utes have scheduled recently, including their ongoing annual duel with BYU.

The Utes have beefed up their non-conference schedule this year with dates against Kansas, Wichita State and UNLV among others.

Perhaps oddly, 2014 will also mark a year without a football game against Utah State. The Utes bought out of playing at Romney Stadium this year for $500,000. After the Aggies visit Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2015, there are no other dates planned.

The Utes play a nine-game conference schedule, leaving three weekends open for out-of-conference foes. Squeezing in both BYU and Utah State can be a tricky task at least on the football field, especially considering upcoming home-and-homes with Michigan and Fresno State. The Utes situation - trying to schedule two in-state, non-conference FBS opponents with nine conference games - is particularly unique in college football.

But Hill said there's no hesitation on the part of wanting to play Utah State, which has enjoyed a recent surge of football success and has traditionally fared well in basketball under Morrill.

"The last thing I want is for people to think we don't want to play Utah State," he said. "We want to do it. We just want to make sure we're scheduling appropriately."

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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