The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team is on the verge of rekindling its rivalry with West Virginia next season, Coach Seth Greenberg confirmed Tuesday afternoon. No papers have been signed, but there is a tentative agreement in place for the Hokies to face the Mountaineers in a home-and-home series during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
Virginia Tech and West Virginia faced each other every year between 1968 and 2004, but they have not played since the Hokies joined the ACC. Next season’s game will likely be in Morgantown, W.Va.
The Mountaineers have made the NCAA tournament every year since Coach Bob Huggins returned to his alma mater before the 2007-08 season. West Virginia had a 19-14 record last season and lost in the round of 64 to Gonzaga.
Ever since Virginia Tech missed the NCAA tournament in 2010 largely because of a weak nonconference slate, Greenberg has made a concerted effort to upgrade the quality of opponents the Hokies face before league play.
But West Virginia would be the biggest name to be added to next year’s schedule, and it will likely please a Virginia Tech fan base that has clamored for the Hokies’ football team to re-ignite the annual battle for the Black Diamond Trophy with the Mountaineers in recent years.
In 2013, the Hokies basketball team is already scheduled to play road games against BYU in Salt Lake City and a road game at UNC Greensboro because the ACC tournament is being held at Greensboro Coliseum. Virginia Tech also has a home game as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as well as return games at Cassell Coliseum with Oklahoma State and Rhode Island
In addition, the Hokies will participate in the Las Vegas Classic in December, with two preliminary games at Cassell Coliseum and two games at the Orleans Hotel & Casino. It’s unclear what other teams will participate, but Bradley’s official Web site announced last month that Colorado State, Portland and Bradley will be the other three regional site hosts.
With the ACC going to 18 conference games next season, Virginia Tech can only add three more games before it reaches the NCAA maximum of 27 scheduled regular season contests and four additional games in an exempt tournament.