March 6, 2012 - 12:07pm
BY BEN ESTES
The Michigan and West Virginia basketball teams will square off for the first time ever in a non-conference game next December, the Michigan athletic department announced on Tuesday.
The Wolverines and Mountaineers will meet on Dec. 15 at the new Barclays Center — the home of the Brooklyn Nets, beginning next season — as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival. It will be televised on one of the ESPN networks, and another game featuring local teams is also expected to be played as part of the event.
Michigan coach John Beilein spent five seasons with West Virginia before coming to Ann Arbor, taking the Mountaineers to the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 in successive years before winning the NIT Championship in 2006-07.
“Playing in the new Barclays Center will truly be a great opportunity for us,” Beilein said in a statement. “Michigan has such a strong alumni base in New York City and surrounding areas that we could not turn down the chance to play in front of them. I have many fond memories of my time at West Virginia. Facing them and their tremendous coach, Bob Huggins, will give Michigan another opportunity to play against one of the very best teams in college basketball today.”
Other confirmed non-conference tilts include a road game at Bradley and a home date with Arkansas.