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 games with Pitt, Providence and St. John's. It will open the season at home with a pair of games in the Legends Classic, beginning on Friday, Nov. 16. WVU's two opponents at home in the Legends Classic have not yet been determined. In the final two games of the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J., the Mountaineers will face Texas, Tennessee or New Mexico State.
BIG EAST schools visiting Morgantown will be Pitt, Marquette, Syracuse, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Providence and St. John's. In addition to the two home Legends Classic games, the Mountaineers will face Maryland Eastern Shore, Winthrop, Duquesne and UMBC in non-league action at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers will open BIG EAST play at Notre Dame on Thursday, Jan. 3. WVU will also play league road games at Louisville, USF, Providence, Pitt, Villanova, DePaul, Connecticut and St. John's. The Mountaineers will face Auburn in Birmingham, Ala., in the BIG EAST/SEC Invitational and will play Oklahoma and Marshall in Charleston. West Virginia will also have non-conference road games at Radford and Canisius.
"We think our non-conference schedule has enough balance for an always-tough BIG EAST schedule," says head coach Bob Huggins. "Our schedule also affords our players to play in front of friends and family."
West Virginia will have at least 10 games on ESPN or ESPN2 this season. The nationally-televised games will be Notre Dame, Marquette, Louisville, Georgetown, Pitt (twice), Rutgers, DePaul, Auburn and Oklahoma. The BIG EAST championship will be televised by ESPN. Additional games on the ESPN network of channels will be selected at a later date. All remaining league games will air on ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Regional or ESPN360.
"We are obviously excited about the national television exposure for our program," says Huggins. "I believe that every kid in America wants to see their team showcased on national television for their family and friends back home. This is the beginning of what we hope has West Virginia on national television on a regular basis for years to come."
The Mountaineers will play an exhibition game on Saturday, Nov. 10, against Mountain State at the WVU Coliseum. Game times and the rest of the television games will be announced in October. Basketball practice begins Friday, Oct. 12.