For many years, the WVU basketball team was a staple in the Big Apple.
The Mountaineers, as members of the Big East Conference, played many games at Madison Square Garden. “The World’s Most Famous Arena” was home to the Big East Tournament, a series of games that attracted the nation’s attention.
The WVU basketball team won some great contests, there, including the 2007 NIT over Clemson.
West Virginia and head coach Bob Huggins returned to MSG last season for a game against Virginia in the Jimmy V Classic. The year before that, the Mountaineers played at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of an early season tournament.
Actually, the Mountaineers’ most recent game was played at the Barclays Center, but it is a game that many would like to forget. The WVU basketball team was upset by Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last March.
The Lumberjacks derailed West Virginia’s high hopes for the tournament as the Mountaineers’ had their sights set on a national championship. That is all in the past, now, and the WVU basketball team has to look forward to a new year.
There will be two regular season games in Morgantown to kick off the 2016-17 season. Those games are against Mount Saint Mary’s and Mississippi Valley State, so they should serve as a tune up for the Mountaineer’s next big step into the season.
In 2016, the WVU basketball team will return to Brooklyn for another early season tilt. New York seems to be a home-away-from-home for the Mountaineers and it’s good to see them come back to NYC.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, the WVU basketball team will play in the annual NIT Season Tip-Off. Recently, the Mountaineers learned who their opening opponent will be. West Virginia takes on Illinois to start the tournament on Nov. 24, which is Thanksgiving Day.
Looking across the bracket, if the Mountaineers get past Illinois, they will face the winner of Temple and Florida State. Temple also played a NCAA Tournament game at the Barclays Center last season.
Just like the Mountaineers, Temple lost its NCAA Tournament game last season, falling to Iowa by two points at the Barclays Center.
All four teams are guaranteed two games in the NIT Tip-Off, so the losers will face off against each other, too.
The WVU basketball team has faced Illinois four previous times with the Fighting Illini holding a 3-1 advantage in the series.
The last match up between WVU and Illinois was way back in 1967.