Men's Basketball, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU, Pitt extend Backyard Brawl men’s basketball series through the 2027-28 season

MORGANTOWN — The men’s basketball version of the Backyard Brawl has new life.

Both WVU and Pitt announced Thursday the rivalry will be extended four more years through the 2027-28 season.

“There is no question that this is one of the best rivalries in college athletics and has produced some great games through the years,” WVU athletic director Wren Baker said in a statement. “The rivalry is not only good for the two universities but also their fans. I want to thank Heather Lyke and the Pitt administration for supporting the renewal of this series, which is a win for college basketball.”

Baker and Lyke have been in discussions about extending the series for months, with both athletic directors going on the record saying they were in favor of the extension.

Next season’s game will be played at Petersen Events Center on Pitt’s campus, as well as the 2026 matchup.

The WVU Coliseum will host games in 2025 and 2027.

No official dates have been announced, but the previous non-conference games in the series were generally played in November or December.

Pitt’s 80-63 victory this season was the final game of a two-year extension signed back in 2020.

“The Backyard Brawl is great for both schools, the fan bases and especially for college basketball,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert said. “I have been at WVU for 17 of these games, and without question, they are our biggest rival. For the last six years, it’s been one of the highlights of our non-conference schedule and will certainly be for the next four years.”

As former Big East members, both schools played regularly from 1996-2012. After the 2011-12 season, WVU left the Big East and joined the Big 12. Pitt joined the ACC a year later.

The series was put on hold for four years until a four-year series was signed for the 2017-18 season, and then extended two more years in 2020.

WVU has won five of those six meetings, until Pitt’s victory in Morgantown this season.

“The Backyard Brawl game is one of the most anticipated matchups on the schedule each year for the two fan bases,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said. “These kinds of games are what makes college athletics so special. We are excited to extend the series and look forward to four more matchups that will have both fan bases eagerly awaiting the day tickets go on sale.”

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