SPOKANE, Wash. — For years, BYU coach Dave Rose and Gonzaga coach Mark Few tried to schedule a series between the two basketball programs.
They discussed playing one game in Seattle and one at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. They talked about playing at the McCarthey Athletic Center and the Marriott Center.
But that series never came to fruition.
Then, after Rose went through his bout with cancer, Few invited Rose, and Rose's wife, Cheryl, to Spokane for a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising gala. The Roses were the keynote speakers.
"During those three days were we up in Spokane, is actually when BYU was talking about going independent in football, and joining the WAC at the time, then it switched where we might join the WCC," Rose recalled this week. "That weekend was actually kind of strange."
Of course, the Cougars ended up joining the WCC, the same league that Gonzaga has dominated for a long time. And now the two teams play on a regular basis.
"It ended up happening where we play twice every year," Rose said.
BYU fell to the Zags Thursday, 83-63. Gonzaga has a 3-1 record against the Cougars since BYU joined the WCC. The two teams will meet again on Feb. 28 in Provo.