One of the best rivalries in college sports, the “Backyard Brawl,” is back. On Thursday, the Pitt and West Virginia basketball teams announced they will be renewing the rivalry in the form of a four-game home-and-home series.
Pitt and West Virginia have not met on the basketball court since the 2011-12 season.
“We are extremely excited to announce the renewal of this great rivalry,” Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes said in a statement. “Coach Stallings and his staff did an outstanding job working with their counterparts at West Virginia to help make this happen. The Pitt-West Virginia games will serve as marquee non-conference matchups that will garner heavy interest in the area and on the national stage.”
The Panthers and Mountaineers were once fierce Big East rivals, before the Pitt left for the ACC and West Virginia joined the Big 12. Now, they will once again get to battle for college hoops supremacy.
Pitt will host West Virginia in 2017 and 2019, while the Mountaineers will host the Backyard Brawl in 2018 and 2020.
“One of my first goals as athletic director was to reach out to Scott Barnes about renewing the football and basketball series with Pitt because I knew it would be good for both schools,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said in a statement. “I want to thank Scott and coach Stallings as well as [West Virginia] coach [Bob] Huggins and his staff for their efforts in getting the basketball series renewed. The fans are the real winners because whether the game is in the WVU Coliseum or the Petersen Events Center, it will be great for college basketball.”
It’s great to see the two teams once again scheduled to face off.
Better late than never!