GREAT FALLS — For the first time in 65 years, NCAA Division I basketball will return to the Electric City.

Friday at the annual Triangle Classic Banquet in Great Falls, the Montana State Athletic department announced Brian Fish and the Bobcat men’s basketball team will open the season November 10 with a non-conference game against Omaha at the Four Seasons Arena.

MSU Athletic Director Leon Costello points to the success of the Bobcats long running rivalry with Wyoming at a neutral site in Billings and said taking the team to other towns in Montana is a good way to grow the brand and the fanbase.

“We like to say we’re Montana’s team and we want to be able to take our teams to different places,” Costello said. “It’s why we bring the football team to Great Falls for a scrimmage.

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“To bring a basketball game here will be great. I think the people here will support it and I think it will be a great crowd. It’s really just a way for us to give back to people that have supported us so much throughout the years.”

The last Division I men’s basketball game held in Great Falls was in December of 1951, when Montana State coached by the legendary Max Worthington defeated Eastern Washington.

Montana State fell to Omaha last season 97-91. MSU finished the season 16-16 overall and 11-7 in the Big Sky Conference.

The game will be a Friday night tip-off at 7 p.m.

Montana State basketball coach Brian Fish talks to fans at the Triangle Classic Banquet before announcing the Bobcats will play a non-conference game in Great Falls. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

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