The West Virginia University men’s basketball team is heading back to New York this season.
The Mountaineers were announced Wednesday as participants in the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational, a four-game showcase to be held Sunday, Dec. 13, at Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, New York. WVU will face Purdue as part of the event.
In the other three games, Penn State will play Florida, Army will play Princeton and Stanford will play Georgia Tech.
It will be a game versus a popular opponent in a place that has been a popular getaway for the Mountaineers, coach Bob Huggins said.
“I have a lot of respect for [Purdue coach Matt Painter] and the job he has done at Purdue,” Huggins said in a release from the event. “Since I’ve been at West Virginia, we have played Purdue four times and another three times in closed scrimmages. Anytime you have the opportunity to play a team like Purdue and the opportunity to play in a special non-conference event, you jump on it.
“We love playing in New York and our fans love when we play in New York,” he added. “We’re happy to be a part of this event and for the continued exposure for our basketball program.”
Huggins isn’t kidding about WVU’s love of the Big Apple. This December will mark the sixth time in seven seasons that the Mountaineers have played at either the Barclays Center or in Madison Square Garden.
WVU played St. John’s last season at MSG in the Big East/Big 12 Battle, played Florida at MSG in 2018 in the Jimmy V Classic, had a pair of games at the Barclays Center against Illinois and Temple in 2016, played Virginia in the 2015 Jimmy V Classic at the Garden and played North Carolina State in the 2014 Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to joining the Big 12, WVU was a member of the Big East, whose men’s basketball tournament has been held at Madison Square Garden since 1983.
The Mountaineers enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2019-20 while the Boilermakers are looking to bounce back in 2020-21. WVU finished last season at 21-10, a six-win improvement from the season before, and were looking at a good seed in the NCAA tournament before the coronavirus pandemic scuttled the rest of the season.
Purdue finished last season at 16-15, Painter’s worst win total since finishing the 2013-14 season with 15 victories.
Ticket information, game times and television broadcast details will be announced at a later date. The Basketball Hall of Fame will continue monitoring the coronavirus pandemic situation and provide updates as needed.