The idea is sure to generate excitement, and it's a possibility Mark Montgomery sounds determined to make happen.
When Montgomery called his mentor, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, to tell him he received NIU's men's basketball coach position, he asked to schedule a home and home with the Spartans. Izzo wasn't interested in talking about that, wanting more to get into the specifics of his pupil's new job. But Montgomery told me yesterday it's something he thinks can happen.
"They definitely owe me a favor," Montgomery said, referring to the 10 years he spent as an assistant at Michigan State. "I'm going to have to call in on it."
Montgomery said he'd look at the schedule and make sure it's something that's possible without sacrificing too much for either side. Izzo has also traditionally been reluctant to schedule games with former assistants, whenever he can avoid it.
But when I asked why Montgomery was confident NIU could schedule a home game with Michigan State, he flipped the question around.
"You can have Iowa and Purdue on the schedule," Montgomery said. "Why not Michigan State?"
At the very least, it seems the process has been initiated. Could be an interesting thing to keep an eye on.
– Ryan Wood