The Backyard Brawl has been back in basketball for three seasons, with West Virginia taking home victories in three straight years over Pitt. The teams are scheduled to play again on Nov. 13 at WVU Coliseum.
It’s getting close to a return on the gridiron, as well, as Pat Narduzzi’s and Neal Brown’s programs will square off and start a four-year series in 2022.
The question now is whether the two athletic departments will be able to find a way to extend the basketball series beyond this year?
If it’s up to West Virginia, the answer to that question is yes. Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins is on record as saying he wants to make this a yearly game and his boss agrees with him. Talking with the media Wednesday morning, WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said extending the series is a priority for him.
“I’d love to see it continued,” Lyons said. “I’ve had multiple conversations with (athletic director) Heather Lyke at Pitt. One after our last game up there in November when we played and knowing (2020) was going to be the last year. I think she’s on the same page as me and talking to Coach Huggins, we’d love to see that series continue.”
Once life returns to normal and college athletic departments are able to take care of their most pressing matters, Lyons plans on continuing his talks with Pitt so that the Backyard Brawl is here to stay.
“We will be in discussions with Pitt and talking about extending that series. Unfortunately, all this (coronavirus outbreak) has taken all of our time, dealing with the pandemic,” Lyons explained. “That’s definitely something that’s going to be on the list, to extend that series.”
The teams also had a three-game baseball series scheduled for 2020, with a game at each home field and a neutral-site game at PNC Park that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. They also meet annually in gymnastics and wrestling.