Former Southern Conference and Big East rivals, Virginia Tech and West Virginia have quite the basketball history. In 1960, the Mountaineers and the iconic Jerry West defeated the Hokies in the Southern championship game, ending Tech’s first 20-win season and denying the program its first NCAA tournament appearance.
Twenty years later, the visiting Hokies, led by West Virginia native Jeff Schneider, won in Morgantown, prompting Mountaineers faithful to shower Tech players with hot dogs and trash.
In the mid-1980s, the Hokies invaded West Virginia for yet another recruit. Bimbo Coles promptly supplanted Dell Curry as the school’s career scoring leader.
Tech and West Virginia first met in 1921 and played at least once from 1968-69 through 2003-04, a stretch of 36 consecutive seasons. Then the Hokies left the Big East for the ACC.
Next season the programs renew the rivalry, if only for two years. Tech coach Seth Greenberg said Tuesday that he and WVU’s Bob Huggins have agreed to play next season in Morgantown and the season after in Blacksburg.
A hat tip to Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail columnist Jack Bogaczyk, a former Virginia Tech beat writer and later columnist for the Roanoke Times. He alerted me to the possibility of the series, and Greenberg confirmed via text.
Moving from the Big East to Big 12, the Mountaineers have earned seven NCAA tournament bids in the last eight years. In 2010, they won the Big East tournament and advanced to the Final Four, where they lost to Duke in a semifinal.
A former Hokies player might well be on West Virginia’s bench next season. The Daily Mail reports that Ron Everhart, recently fired as Duquesne’s head coach, is likely to join Huggins’ staff. Everhart would replace Jerrod Calhoun, who was named Fairmont State’s big whistle Tuesday.
A 1985 Tech graduate, Everhart was 99-89 in six seasons at Duquesne. He and Huggins are longtime friends.
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