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New Mexico, UTEP renew rivalry in basketball

The former WAC members finally pick up their rivalry on the hardwood.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It's about damn time.

The University of Texas-El Paso and the University of New Mexico have revived their men's basketball rivalry for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The Lobos will host the Miners on Dec. 3, 2016 and UNM will travel down to El Paso, Texas to play UTEP on Dec. 2, 2017.

"I am excited to add UTEP to our schedule," UNM coach Craig Neal said in a statement. "They are a historic and regional rival, and I know our fans are excited for this series as well."

The two have played 141 times, however, the rivalry hit a halt after a feud between former UNM men's basketball coach Steve Alford and current UTEP head coach Tim Floyd.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the coaching staffs came to near blows because Alford felt that Floyd and UTEP were "impeding" on the Lobos' pregame schedule and practice time at The Pit.

However, Floyd said he is glad to see the rivalry renewed.

"It would be hard to argue that the most memorable games in our school's history have been against (UNM)," Floyd said in a statement released by the UTEP Athletic Department. "Our fans, and I trust theirs, will welcome this series resuming."

The last time the Lobos and Miners have met was in the regular season was 2009 and UNM leads the all-time series 76-65. The two regularly played against each other when both were members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).