The Big East couldn't afford to lose Boise State and San Diego State in football for 2013, so it didn't hesitate to help out their men's basketball programs with marquee nonconference opponents.
When the two schools agreed to become football-only members, there was a promise made about four guaranteed nonconference games in hoops in the first four years as members.
It was never publicly announced, but two of those games will come against new all-sport members Memphis and Temple, the last two programs added to the Big East. The schools for the two other home-and-home series are to be determined with the help of the league office.
The biggest winner in this deal is Boise State, but SDSU, Memphis and Temple may not be as pleased with the forced partnership.
The Broncos are playing their last season in the Mountain West and are expected (like the Aztecs) to join the Big West in all non-football sports, although that won't be known until that league's presidents vote at the end of the month.
To get two home-and-home series over a two-year period against Memphis and Temple is a coup for Boise, which struggles to get nonconference games regardless of league affiliation.
"I don't care who you are, it's really tough to get home games," BSU coach Leon Rice said. "Memphis is a perennial top 25 program and in the last eight years Fran [Dunphy] has Temple rolling. You can't get those type of teams into Taco Bell Arena. That's terrific."
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