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Brawl of the Wild basketball game moved up to ESPNU broadcast

02 Dec 2021 | 07:58 | Basketball

Montana’s big rivalry game has been elevated to a bigger stage as ESPNU has picked up broadcast rights for the Brawl of the Wild men’s basketball game played in Missoula.

With the platform change, the game will also be moved back a day, to Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m.

“The exposure is huge,” head coach Travis DeCuire said. “For us, we talk about our crowd and energy and environment a lot, and this is an opportunity for a larger audience to see that what we have at Montana is special.”

In June, the Big Sky Conference announced a move to ESPN+, with nearly every home and Big Sky contest available with a subscription to the streaming platform. Part of the agreement also included one regular-season men’s basketball game to be annually televised on ESPNU. The Worldwide Leader in Sports chose to showcase Montana’s rivalry game that annually draws a sold-out crowd.

The Montana/Montana State series has been played more than 300 times, the fifth most-played rivalry in college basketball history. The two teams were unable to play in 2021, however, marking the first time since 1944-45 that the game was not played.

With the men’s game being pushed to Sunday to accommodate the ESPNU audience, the women’s game will also benefit, being moved to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26. It marks the first time since 2013-14 that the women’s version of the Brawl of the Wild will get a primetime, evening spotlight. Both games will be played inside Dahlberg Arena.

Montana’s 2021-22 men’s schedule features 17 home dates, including a Thanksgiving tournament. Tip times for nearly all contests are now set and season tickets are currently on sale.