Pitt, West Virginia hoops extended two years


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The basketball version of the Backyard Brawl will be played through the 2022-23 season. - Matt Sunday/DKPS

The basketball version of the Backyard Brawl will continue, at least through the 2022-23 season.

Pitt and West Virginia announced Thursday morning that the series will extend beyond this season with a contest at WVU Coliseum in 2021-22 and a game at Petersen Events Center the following year.

After a brief hiatus, the rivalry resumed during the 2017-18 season. This season's game will be played at West Virginia on Friday, Nov. 13.

"The Pitt-West Virginia rivalry is one of the best in the country," Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said in a statement. “Backyard Brawl says all you need to know about the intensity and energy around these games. Coach (Bob) Huggins is an outstanding coach and has built a terrific program in Morgantown. We look forward to continuing the rivalry and building on the great tradition of the Backyard Brawl."

This year's meeting will be the 188th between the rivals. The Panthers and Mountaineers met for the first time in 1904, playing a pair of games prior to basketball becoming a varsity sport at Pitt.

West Virginia leads the all-time series, 99-88, and won last year's meeting, 68-53.

"The Pitt game has been our biggest rival," Huggins said in a statement. "We are thrilled to add another two games to the series. During the last three months or so, I've seen numerous WVU-Pitt games being replayed on ESPN. In addition to both fan bases, there is always a national interest in the Backyard Brawl."

Pitt returns three of its top four scorers from a season ago, including double-figure scorers Justin Champagnie (12.7 average) and Xavier Johnson (11.7 average). Two-year starter Au’Diese Toney also returns after averaging 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season. The Panthers also boast one of the nation's top recruiting classes, led by John Hugley and William Jeffress, Jr.

West Virginia spent much of last season ranked in the AP Top 25 and finished 21-10 before the coronavirus shutdown halted play.

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