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Virginia Tech coach James Johnson explains why WVU game will be on a weekday afternoon.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Virginia Tech and Virginia announced their men’s basketball schedules for the upcoming season Thursday.
But the Hokies’ only nonconference home game against a team from a major conference is going to be played at a time when some fans might not be able to show up.
The Hokies’ nonconference home games include three that had already been announced (West Virginia, Radford and VMI) and six that were revealed Thursday — USC Upstate, Western Carolina, Furman, Winthrop, UNC Greensboro and Maryland-Eastern Shore.
ESPN announced last week that the WVU-Virginia Tech game will be played at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, as part of its 24-hour marathon of games.
Some fans might not be able to take off from work to attend the Mountaineers’ first visit to Cassell Coliseum since 2004.
Coach James Johnson said Tech could have declined ESPN’s offer and played the WVU game at night, but he wanted the ESPN exposure.
“I would much rather play that as a 7 p.m. game, a 9 p.m. game and give our fans an opportunity to come out,” Johnson said. “[But] knowing the way our fans feel about West Virginia, they’ll find a way to get there.
“The date is what fit in with both of our schedules, but the time slot is a time that if we wanted it on TV, we had to go with that time slot. Having an opportunity to be on national TV came in to play a big part in it. If it was just a 1 o’clock TV slot on a Tuesday, we probably wouldn’t have gone for it. But 24 hours of hoops, that’s a day that they’re going to build up with basketball all day. That was the intriguing part.”
Tech associate athletic director Tom Gabbard said WVU also wanted to be part of the ESPN marathon.
The Tech schedule includes three previously announced games — Michigan State and either Oklahoma or Seton Hall in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a Richmond Coliseum duel with VCU.
The USC Upstate and Western Carolina home games are part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, but Tech will play in Brooklyn regardless of those outcomes.
UVa’s schedule includes a game against Davidson that will be played in Charlotte, N.C. It will be the teams’ first meeting since 1991.
Other UVa foes revealed Thursday include home games with Northern Iowa, Navy, Liberty, Hampton and Norfolk State.
The UVa schedule includes seven previously announced games — home games with Wisconsin, VCU and JMU; visits to Tennessee and Green Bay; and SMU and either Texas A&M or Missouri State in the Corpus Christi Challenge.
The Cavaliers’ ACC home games are Notre Dame, Syracuse, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Maryland, Boston College, Miami and Wake Forest.
UVa’s ACC road foes will be Maryland (on CBS), Duke, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, FSU and the Hokies.
The Hokies will host Syracuse, UNC, UVa, Maryland, Miami, BC, State, Wake and Clemson.
Tech will visit Duke, Notre Dame, Pitt, UVa, Maryland, Miami, BC, FSU and Georgia Tech.
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