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Mountaineer basketball schedule looks familiar

By Dave Hickman, Staff writer

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s Big 12 basketball schedule this season looks a lot like the one from last year.

Specifically, it starts with the same two-game road trip to TCU and Texas Tech and includes a manageable three mid-week road games, cutting down on missed class time.

The schedule was released Thursday by the Big 12.

Including the previously announced non-conference games, the schedule includes 21 of the 31 games either at the Coliseum or neutral sites. That’s 15 home games, three in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off event, two in Charleston and a game with North Carolina State at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The 10 true road games are the nine against Big 12 teams and a Dec. 7 game at Northern Kentucky for coach Bob Huggins’ team. At least 22 of the 31 games will be televised nationally, with others pending.

“Once again, this year’s schedule for Coach Huggins and his team is very competitive from start to finish,” WVU athletic director Oliver Luck said. “I’m pleased that we already have 22 games slated for national television and I’m delighted that we will have 17 regular-season games in our state.

“We all know how exciting Big 12 basketball is and the trip to Puerto Rico against quality competition and getting back to Madison Square Garden to face N.C. State, as well as hosting Virginia Tech and LSU, certainly highlight the non-conference schedule.”

The Big 12 schedule begins just as it did a year ago with the trip to TCU and Texas Tech. That’s a nod toward West Virginia’s far-flung travel within the league, scheduling two of the road games before second-semester classes begin.

So is the limited number of mid-week games. During WVU’s first year in the league, the team played five mid-week road games and the players struggled while returning sometimes near dawn the next day and trying to attend class. Last year the Big 12 sliced the number of those games to three and put the pre-semester two-game road trip in to help alleviate that.

This year the only three weeknight games are at Kansas State and Oklahoma on back-to-back Tuesdays in late January and early February, plus a Tuesday game at Kansas on March 3. The other road games are five on Saturdays and the Monday game at Texas Tech before school is in session.

The schedule begins Nov. 9 with an exhibition game against Shepherd.

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.


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