West Virginia is a completely landlocked state with unique borders. As a main part of Appalachia, these borders produce breathtaking scenery and picturesque vantage points.
The uniqueness is also shaped by the neighboring college athletic programs. West Virginia is only 75 miles from the University of Pittsburgh campus, so that Backyard Brawl rivalry has been alive and well for more than 100 years.
To the east lies the state of Virginia. Still, it takes some national pundits longer than it needs to in order to realize that they are indeed separate states. West Virginia has long had a bitter rivalry with Virginia Tech and to a lesser extent UVA.
To the north and west there is Ohio and even though the Buckeyes usually have a leg up on the Mountaineers, there is still a rivalry with the fans and citizens of the Buckeye state. Then, to the south, there is Kentucky.
It was good to see a match up get renewed between the Wildcats and Mountaineers. This was the first time the two programs faced off in the regular season since 2008 when the team’s faced off in a Thanksgiving tournament.
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After the competitive game on Saturday gave way to UK, it’s time for the administration of both schools to come up with an agreement to make this an annual thing. The WVU basketball team needs Kentucky moving forward.
The previously mentioned schools like Pitt, Ohio State, Virginia and Virginia Tech have all had regular season series with the WVU basketball team in the past 10 years. Virginia just wrapped up a three-game series this year. And, the Backyard Brawl is seeing a resurgence on the hardwood.
Kentucky is an easy drive away and Morgantown is not that far from UK’s campus, just a little over five hours according to Mapquest.
Plus, John Calipari and Bob Huggins are said to be longtime friends. This gives both head coaches a chance to give back a bit to the communities they visit, too. The Bob Huggins Fish Fry was a big hit this past Friday and Calipari was proud to be a part of it.
West Virginia is proud to have a tough out-of-conference schedule. By inking a Kentucky series to last for the next two to four years, the schedule would be as competitive as ever.