Jan. 15, 2009
SEATTLE - The local rivalry between the University of Washington and Seattle University men's basketball programs will resume a year earlier than expected as the two teams will play each other on March 3 in a game that will replace those cancelled last month due to inclement weather.
Tickets to the first Washington vs. Seattle U. men's basketball game go on sale Friday through the Husky Ticket Office. Call (206) 543-2200 for information.
"Certainly if was unfortunate that we did not get a chance to reschedule the Lehigh game, but there is no question that this local rivalry game will excite the fans of the two schools and should peak the interest of basketball in the area period," said UW athletic director Scott Woodward. "The fact that both programs had the need to fill a date and that we were able to get it worked out shows the benefit of having two Division I teams in the area. We are very supportive of Seattle U.'s return to Division I and look forward to a long and competitive series."
Washington was scheduled to play Lehigh University on Dec. 23, but the game was postponed due to a snowstorm that hit the Pacific Northwest. The Lehigh team was en route to Seattle, but was diverted back to Newark International Airport and returned to campus. The coaches from both teams attempted to reschedule the game, but could not find a suitable date.
"We are looking forward to competing against the Huskies," said Seattle U. athletic director Bill Hogan. "I have said publicly several times that UW has been very supportive of our return to NCAA Division I and we are appreciative for this opportunity to renew this great rivalry. We are hopeful that a good number of red sweaters will mix along with all of the purple on March 3rd at Bank of America Arena."
Washington owns a 19-4 overall record in the series history between the two schools, which began in 1953. Interestingly, that first meeting was played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Corvallis, Ore. and the UW then defeated Santa Clara University the next evening to advance to the NCAA Final Four in Kansas City, Mo.
The two teams did not play again until the 1969-70 season when the two teams launched an 11-year stretch of a home-and-away series. The two teams played twice annually for each of those years - with one game played at the UW and another played at the Seattle Coliseum (now named Key Arena).
Washington and Seattle have not played each other since the 1979-80 season, when current UW coach Lorenzo Romar was a senior guard for Marv Harshman's Husky squad. Washington won six of the last seven games between the two teams.
The series is scheduled to resume next season with an annual contest for at least the next five seasons. The first game of the series is scheduled to take place next season at Washington with Seattle U. hosting games at Key Arena during the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons.