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BYU basketball schedules 3-for-1 series with Utah Valley

With Mark Pope at the helm, the Wolverines will visit the Marriott Center three times in the next four years.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Thanks to an announcement from Utah Valley University, we have learned that the BYU Cougars have agreed to a four-game series with their next-door neighbors in Utah County.

The first game of the series will be the season opener for both teams on Nov. 13 in Provo in the upcoming season. The second and fourth games of the series will be played in Provo on Nov. 11, 2016 and Nov. 9, 2018.

The lone game UVU gets at home will be Nov. 29, 2017 at the UCCU Center, giving UVU students a chance to storm the court and try to knock out BYU players after the buzzer sounds with the Cougars victorious.

The 3-for-1 format shows that the Cougars are willing to work the Wolverines into the schedule, but could also signal UVU must increase its RPI and program before a home-and-home will be in the cards -- or before that can even be discussed.

It appears that the hiring of Mark Pope as the Wolverines head coach is already paying dividends before the team has stepped on the court. Pope spent the last four seasons with the Cougars as an assistant coach. Although the game isn't the RPI game that the Cougars would like to have, it is a local game that should draw in more fans than games against teams like Arkansas-Little Rock would.

At the very least, Pope is getting things done to excite his own fanbase.

While it comes with RPI risks for BYU, this could become a fun rivalry-type game given the handful of miles separating the schools.

As for Utah Valley, it will be interesting to see how thing go with Coach Pope at the helm and if his connections off the court, and his product on the court could earn a less lopsided contract in the future -- a lofty goal indeed.