WVU, Michigan To Meet For First Time in Hoops

Even though its stay in the Big East is nearly over, West Virginia will be heading back to the Big Apple for basketball next season.

The game won't be against St. John's, or in the Big East tournament, however. Instead, the Mountaineers will face off against Michigan and former WVU head coach John Beilein in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival on Dec. 15, 2012. The game will be televised on one of the ESPN family of networks.

The contest, one of a pair of doubleheaders to occur on Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, will take place in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

"We're certainly excited about playing a quality non-conference game in Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center," West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins said. "Our alumni base is strong in the New York area, and we've also had a lot of great players from New York and New Jersey in recent years. It is important for us to play in the New York area on an annual basis. We look forward to playing a storied program like Michigan and to play against another ranked team with an outstanding coach in John Beilein, who has built a winner at every school that he has coached during his career."

"Student-athletes love it when they get a chance to play in a professional venue, and I believe our basketball team will enjoy playing in the new Barclays Center," WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck said. "WVU has a strong following in the New York market, and the game will be special to our Alumni base in that area. Coach John Beilein did a tremendous job with our basketball program, and his last game as coach of WVU was actually in New York, when he and the Mountaineers won the NIT Championship. This game should be a great non-conference match-up."

"Playing in the new Barclays Center will truly be a great opportunity for us," said Michigan Head Coach John Beilein. "Michigan has such a strong alumni base in New York City and surrounding areas that we could not turn down the chance to play in front of them. I have many fond memories of my time at West Virginia. Facing the Mountaineers and their tremendous coach, Bob Huggins, will give Michigan another opportunity to play against one of the very best teams in college basketball today."

"We are excited about playing West Virginia at Barclays Center," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics for the University of Michigan. "We have a great group of alumni in New York and the surrounding areas. Playing in Brooklyn presents a unique opportunity for our men's basketball program. It's something that our current players are really looking forward to experiencing."

"Barclays Center is quickly becoming a must-play for major college basketball teams in the nation," Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said. "The Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival and the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational will deliver exciting match-ups that include perennially powerful programs and rising local schools. These games will provide a charged atmosphere at Barclays Center as we deliver major college basketball to Brooklyn. We are committed to elevating Barclays Center into a significant national collegiate sports venue." Tickets for both events will go on sale in March, and information will be announced soon.

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