MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University's conference basketball schedule will be completely different this coming season, with the move from the Big East to the Big 12. And on Thursday, school officials said the Mountaineers' non-conference schedule will see change as well.
The Capital Classic, which annually pits WVU and Marshall in Charleston, has been moved to a December date for the first time since 1996. In recent years, the game has been played in late January and even into February while the legislature is in session.
"It should never have been played after conference play begins," said WVU coach Bob Huggins.
The move was just one feature of the 2012-13 non-conference schedule released by the school.
Including the Capital Classic, the Mountaineers will play 13 non-conference contests, including home games against Virginia Tech, VMI, Oakland, Radford and Eastern Kentucky.
WVU will play road games against Purdue and Duquesne and will open the season at Gonzaga on Nov. 12 in a preliminary game of the Old Spice Classic that begins the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
West Virginia will then play three games in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. The 2012 Old Spice Classic will feature Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Clemson, Davidson, Marist, Oklahoma, UTEP and WVU.
In addition to the Capital Classic, the Mountaineers will play a neutral-site game against Michigan in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"It's probably the hardest [schedule] in school history," Huggins told the Gazette. "We play at Gonzaga, at Purdue, Michigan in Brooklyn, at Duquesne, Virginia Tech at home and Marshall in Charleston. We can be pretty good and lose some games."
West Virginia will play one exhibition game against Glenville State on Nov. 5.
The Big 12 portion of the schedule will be announced later this summer.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.
WVU basketball non-conference games
Nov. 5 Glenville State*
Nov. 12 at Gonzaga
Nov. 22 x-Old Spice Classic
Nov. 23 x-Old Spice Classic