CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As it heads to a new adventure in the Big 12 Conference, West Virginia also is digging into its scheduling past in the 2012-13 men's basketball season.
Longtime WVU foe and rival Virginia Tech is returning to the Mountaineers' schedule next season, sources connected to both schools revealed Tuesday.
Holy Hot Rod Hundley! Heavens to Bimbo Coles!
It's a good RPI-driving game for both programs, and a series that's worth resuming says someone - me - who has sat on press row in both schools' arenas more times than is worth counting.
It's also a good, drivable road game for both schools' fans - particularly big now for WVU followers with half of the conference schedule no closer than Ames, Iowa.
West Virginia has been looking for one high-level game to complete the backbone of the home schedule. A visit by the ACC's Hokies would be that. A return date at Tech's Cassell Coliseum would be on the docket the following season.
Jerrod Calhoun, the WVU assistant coach who has handled scheduling for Coach Bob Huggins' program along with WVU Deputy Athletic Director Mike Parsons, took the head coaching job at Fairmont State on Tuesday.
However, three weeks ago, Calhoun said there would "be one more very good, high major coming to Morgantown. We're looking for one more high major for a series, not just for a game in Morgantown."
WVU and Tech played home-and-home for years - last in 2003-04 - and met as foes in the Southern and Big East conferences, and as independents.
The Mountaineers lead the series 46-29, and WVU has played only Pitt, Penn State, George Washington and Duquesne more times. The Hokies have played WVU more than any out-of-state foe, and only played VMI, Virginia, Washington & Lee, William & Mary and Richmond more than 75 times.
They've played in eight cities, too, even the Fayetteville Memorial Field House twice.
They met in the Southern Conference tournament final in the Richmond Arena in 1960 - seniors Jerry West of Chelyan and Willie Akers of Mullens vs. juniors Chris Smith of Charleston and Bob Ayersman of Boomer - after VPI and WVU had finished 1-2, respectively, in the regular-season standings.
Although West fouled out (after recording 14 points and 20 rebounds), the Mountaineers won 82-72 for a sixth straight NCAA Tournament berth ... a game that to this day, fiftysomething years later, still causes then-Gobblers' great Smith to reach for the Pepto.