Big East Hoop Foes Announced

The Big East Conference has announced the league opponents for each of its men's basketball teams for the 2007-08 regular season, and West Virginia's three repeat foes are a bit of a surprise.

This year, the Big East returns to an 18-game league schedule after playing a 16-game slate for the last eight seasons. The 18-game format will allow teams to play each opponent once and three teams twice.

West Virginia will play home-and-home series with Pitt, Providence and St. John's. The Montaineers will host Cincinnati, Georgetown, Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Syracuse. WVU will play road games at Connecticut, DePaul, Louisville, Notre Dame, South Florida and Villanova.

Two games with the Panthers are almost a given with the rivalry that exists between the two schools, but the Providence and St. John's matchups were a bit unexpected. Cincinnati and Louisville were more likely targets for the two-game sets, given the Big East's rationale for making repeat opponent matchups, which include "rivalries, television contract obligations, geography and natural interest." The second of those four obviously carries the most weight, and with WVU expected to rebuild this year with a new head coach and a new style of play, that factor might not have come into play for WVU as much, especially concerning Big East play.

However, head coach Bob Huggins knows there is no easy path through the league.

"We're looking forward to the Big East schedule and the competition that it brings," Huggins noted. "We've got several veterans who are familiar with the Big East and its style of play who will help lead us through a really competitive schedule."

"It's good that each team is playing every other team," said Big East Commissioner Michael Tranghese. "It makes the conference schedule more balanced and we are still able to make some very attractive and intriguing matchups a second time."

WVU's complete basketball schedule will be announced in early September.

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