The Wyoming Cowboys and UTEP Miners have a long history between them in college basketball.
The two schools have played 64 previous times, and after a 10-year hiatus from facing each other, the two former Western Athletic Conference rivals will meet tonight in the State Farm Sun Bowl Tournament Championship game.
Wyoming is 5-4 on the season, while the host Miners are 7-2. Wyoming fought back from a 15-point, second-half deficit against Buffalo on Friday night to record a 66-63 victory. UTEP held off South Carolina Upstate for a 77-69 win.
When Wyoming returned to El Paso, Texas, this week the Cowboys returned to an old familiar place as the two programs were conference opponents in the old Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for 31 years from the 1968-69 season through 1998-99 campaign.
Wyoming was an original member of the WAC in 1962, along with Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico and Utah. UTEP joined the WAC in 1968.
The Cowboys left the WAC beginning with the 1999-00 season to be a founding member of the Mountain West Conference. UTEP remained in the WAC through the 2004-05 season before joining Conference USA for the 2005-06 season.
The last time the Wyoming Basketball team played in El Paso was Feb. 7, 1998. UW defeated the Miners in that last meeting by a score of 67-55.
But while Wyoming won the last meeting between the two schools, amazingly that road win in February of 1998 was only the third time that Wyoming ever defeated the Miners in El Paso. Wyoming's three wins in El Paso were: Feb. 7, 1998, by a score of 67-55: Jan. 21, 1993, by a margin of 74-70; and Feb. 14, 1981, by a 63-58 final score. UW trails in the overall series versus UTEP, with 23 wins against 41losses.
Tonight's game will follow the consolation game between the Buffalo Bulls and South Carolina Upstate Spartans. That consolation game is scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m., Mountain Time, with the Wyoming versus UTEP championship game to follow sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.
There is no television coverage of tonight's game, but the Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game on radio beginning with the pregame show approximately one-half hour before the start of the game.
Cowboys Gear Up for UTEP
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