Men's Basketball, Sports, WVU Sports

NOTEBOOK: WVU racks up sixth win in a row against Pitt, future of Backyard Brawl uncertain

PITTSBURGH — Different circumstances, including the future of Big 12 men’s basketball scheduling will play a role in whether or not the WVU-Pitt basketball series continues after next season.

The Panthers are scheduled to travel to Morgantown next season, the final game of the scheduled series that was extended back in 2020.

WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said Friday there is no immediate timetable to extend the series beyond the 2023 game, although there has been some preliminary discussions with Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke.

West Virginia defeated Pitt 81-56 at the Petersen Events Center for its sixth consecutive win against the Panthers.

Pitt’s last victory against WVU came in 2012, when the two schools were both members of the Big East.

The concerns with the Big 12 scheduling is whether or not the conference will remain at 18 games or move up to 20 in the years to come.

Lyons believes the league will remain at 18 games, leaving room open to keep the series with Pitt going.

“But, if you somehow go up to 20 conference games and keep the Big East and SEC challenges, then you have to take another look at it,” Lyons said. “You have to keep a sense of a balanced schedule, because you just can’t load it up every year.

WVU head coach Bob Huggins was asked about the future of the basketball rivalry series on Thursday.

“That’s above my pay grade,” Huggins said, before adding that the school’s athletic directors are the ones in charge of scheduling the series.

Hello, goodbye

WVU forward Tre Mitchell made a return home and got an earful from the Pitt student section.

Mitchell, who grew up in Pittsburgh before playing his final two seasons of high school ball in Connecticut, responded with eight points and six rebounds.

“He’s a little rusty,” Huggins said. “That’s not what you’re going to see later on. He’s getting better and better. He couldn’t do anything for three or four months and had a pretty extensive surgery. That’s not Tre Mitchell out there right now. That’s not the one you’re going to see later on.”

Mitchell came to WVU after transferring from Texas. He began his career at UMass.

But, he hurt his foot this preseason and wasn’t cleared to practice until late last week.

As for the chants from the students, Mitchell made sure to give them a wave goodbye as he walked off the court.

News and notes

 WVU’s 25-point margin of victory was its largest since the Mountaineers beat Pitt 90-64 on Jan. 17, 1968.

 WVU’s six-game winning streak against the Panthers is the school’s longest since a nine-game streak from 1964-68.

 During the streak, WVU’s margin of victory over the Panthers has been by an average of 15.3 points per game.

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