Although WVU has yet to play in the 2009 76 Classic, which tips off on Thursday, Nov. 26 in Anaheim, Calif., the Mountaineers are already set for a 2010 event.
ESPN Regional Television, has announced the field for the 2010 O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off, and it includes WVU, North Carolina and Minnesota in its eight team field. The 12-game, bracketed collegiate basketball tournament will be played the week before Thanksgiving weekend at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. Tournament pairings and game times for the 2010 event on November 18, 19 and 21 will be announced at a later date.
Joining the Tar Heels, Mountaineers and Gophers in the 2010 O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off field are Davidson (Southern), Hofstra (Colonial), Nebraska (Big 12), Vanderbilt (Southeastern), and Western Kentucky (Sun Belt).
The eight schools combined for a 189-80 record during the 2008-2009 season with four NCAA participants (Minnesota, North Carolina, West Virginia and Western Kentucky) and two NIT teams (Davidson and Nebraska). Six of the eight schools also won more than 20 games each with North Carolina topping the list with 34 wins.
"Once again, an outstanding field will represent conferences from around the country for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off," said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Regional Television. "The O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off showcases quality competition and an outstanding off-court experience for the student-athletes, coaches and staff. Fans will have an opportunity to spend the weekend watching college basketball and enjoying all that Puerto Rico has to offer." The Big East Conference again serves as the host for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off at the 18,000-seat at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. The O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off features four games each day, with the two undefeated teams competing in the championship game on one of the ESPN "family" of network outlets on the final day.