ESPN has named the Montana – Montana State basketball rivalry among best nationally in the mid majors!

The best rivalries between some of the nation’s mid-majors rarely receive the same buzz as the perennial duels that feature Big Six programs, but they’re equally fascinating. This list doesn’t include every noteworthy mid-major rivalry in the country. But for the fans who have come to embrace the following rivalries, they’re all significant and worth mentioning. In no particular order

7. Montana-Montana State (Big Sky): Montana leads this series 147-136, although there’s some dispute between the schools about that tally. The Montana-Montana State basketball matchups are televised throughout the state and always draw strong crowds. Locals still talk about the 1986 Big Sky title game. Montana State, a struggling team that found success in the conference tourney that season, beat Montana 82-77 in Reno, Nev. One sports information director described Montana State as a school with “a cowboy” image, a contrast to its liberal arts rival 200 miles away via Interstate 90. The Grizzlies won the first matchup this season, but the two will play again on Feb. 25.

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