MISSOULA — The 302nd and 303rd meetings between the Montana and Montana State men's basketball programs have been canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test within Montana's program, a spokesman for UM confirmed with MTN Sports Wednesday morning.
Both schools officially announced the cancellation Wednesday afternoon.
The news comes after UM canceled a Zoom media session that was scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The spokesman confirmed that talks of rescheduling have happened but nothing concrete is in place yet because of the limited open dates remaining on both schedules. Current Big Sky Conference policy is to not reschedule canceled games but the conference has let other teams around the league reschedule canceled contests.
The games were initially set for Thursday at 7 p.m. in Missoula and Saturday at 2 p.m. in Bozeman.
Montana (7-8 overall, 3-5 Big Sky Conference) has won six in a row in the rivalry and 19 of the past 20 contests, and is coming off of a road trip where it split its games with Sacramento State. However, Montana State (9-3, 6-0) is off to its best start in recent memory with its first 6-0 start in league play in 34 years. The Bobcats are riding a seven-game winning streak -- most recently sweeping Northern Arizona on the road -- their longest since the 2001-02 season.
The games are the third and fourth of the season to be canceled for Montana State. For the Montana men, it will be the first games canceled of the season. Per UM, the Griz were one of seven remaining NCAA Division I men's teams in the nation that had yet to have a game canceled in 2020-21.
The UM (7-4, 4-2) and MSU (7-5, 4-2) women's games are still scheduled to be played. The women tip off in Bozeman at 5 p.m. on Thursday and in Missoula at noon on Saturday. Montana State has won four straight contests in the series between the two programs.