The decision to discontinue the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood series apparently will not cause Washington to resume its basketball rivalry with Gonzaga.
“No,” UW athletic director Scott Woodward said today. “We will probably do what we did with the Big 12 series: schedule some nice BCS-style teams to do home-and-away with — we just won’t do it within the purview of the Big 12 hardwood classic. So, we’ll probably play some Big 12 schools, maybe look at playing an SEC school or a Big 10 school or a Big East school, ACC: We’re open. We obviously consult on it, but I give that authority to (coach Lorenzo Romar) to schedule.”
This will be the fourth and final season of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which paired teams from each conference in home-and-away games over successive seasons. This season, UW is scheduled to play two Big 12 teams – Texas Tech at home on Dec. 4 and visiting Texas A&M on Dec. 11. The same schools met last season with UW losing to the Red Raiders at Lubbock, Texas, and beating the Aggies at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The Big 12 went 9-3 in the series last season, taking a 20-16 lead overall.
Romar did not fully rule out a resurrection of the Gonzaga series, which UW ended after the 2006-07 season. But while that did not appear to be his first option, he did agree with Woodward that the lost Big 12 dates should be filled with high-quality opponents.
“We have to replace those games,” he said. “It was a good series. We enjoyed playing in the Big 12 challenge, but now we’ve just to go in another direction.”