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Northwest Nazarene players celebrate after being awarded the Mayor’s Cup after winning the game against College of Idaho on Nov. 12, 2019 at the Johnson Sports Center.

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After a year away, the Mayors’ Cup rivalry returns.

Almost two years to the day of their last meeting, the Northwest Nazarene and College of Idaho men’s basketball teams renew the oldest college basketball rivalry in the State of Idaho Tuesday when they meet at the College of Idaho’s J.A. Albertsons Activities Center.

The two schools didn’t compete last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two Canyon County schools both played independent schedules last season, with the autonomy to schedule their own games, but attempts to find dates for the two teams to meet fell throw.

Instead, the two teams will play for the trophy which has remained in Caldwell since Nov. 19, 2019, following the College of Idaho’s 90-69 win. The two teams split their 2019 meetings with Northwest Nazarene winning in Nampa a week earlier. The home team has won 10 straight games in the series, as no team has earned the 2-game sweep since the College of Idaho did so in 2014.

The Nighthawks (1-0) will host the Yotes (3-1) in Nampa on Dec. 7. Each school will play their home game as counting game and their road game as an exhibition.

For the first time since 2003, this year’s games won’t be televised live in the Treasure Valley. In recent years, the game had been available on KTVB Channel 7.2. Tuesday’s game, however, will be carried live on the Yotes Digital Network for $10 for the game or $50 for the season. The game in Nampa will be carried live on the NNU Sports YouTube page.

According to the game notes from the College of Idaho, both schools are hopeful the game can return to local airwaves in 2022.

John Wustrow is the assistant sports editor of the Idaho Press. He is a Michigan native and a graduate of Indiana University.

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