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Posted on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

Michigan basketball team to play West Virginia next season at new arena in Brooklyn

By Nick Baumgardner

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein will get a reunion, of sorts, with his former club next season.

And he'll do so in Brooklyn, New York's new basketball cathedral.

The New York Post reported Tuesday that Michigan has agreed to play West Virginia next season in the soon-to-be-opened Barclays Center, which will be the new home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets next season.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed the agreement late Tuesday morning.

A former head coach at West Virginia, Beilein left WVU for Ann Arbor prior to the 2007-08 season.

"I have many fond memories of my time at West Virginia," Beilein said in a statement Tuesday. "Facing them and their tremendous coach, Bob Huggins, will give Michigan another opportunity to play against one of the very best teams in college basketball today."


Michigan basketball coach John Beilein. file photo

Michigan and West Virginia will tangle in the arena on Dec. 15 as part of the inaugural Brooklyn Hoops Winter Hoops Festival. Also part of the event will be Fordham and Princeton.

In five seasons at WVU, Beilein guided the Mountaineers to a pair of NCAA tournaments (including one Elite Eight) and an NIT championship (2007). He went a combined 104-60 in that span.

Beilein wasn't the only coach Michigan hired away from West Virginia that year, as Michigan hired former WVU football coach Rich Rodriguez eight months later.

The December matchup, which will be televised on one of the ESPN networks, will be the first ever meeting between Michigan and WVU on the basketball court.

“We are excited about playing West Virginia at the Barclays Center,” Brandon in a statement. “We have a great group of alumni in New York and the surrounding areas. Playing in Brooklyn presents a unique opportunity for our men’s basketball program.

"It’s something that our current players are really looking forward to experiencing.”

No. 10 Michigan will open the 2012 Big Ten Tournament on Friday against either Northwestern or Minnesota at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (6:30 p.m., BTN)

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 6:30 a.m.

michboy40: ... and you can add coming off the bench Jon Horford, Glenn Robinson and Nick Stauskas. Carlton Brundage, Eso Akune, Blake McLimans and Colton Christian have playing experience also. Good starting five. Good bench depth. Go Blue!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Starting line-up: 1) Burke 2) Hardaway Jr., 3) Smotrytz, 4) McGary 5) Morgan I like that!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

Fordham vs Princeton, huh? Quite the draw...


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

I too, am excited that the University of Michigan will be playing West Virginia University at the Barclay's Center. I can think of no more exciting way to start the basketball season, except perhaps enjoying the game with a delicious sandwich from Arby's and a large Coca Cola.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

I already am saving up for my seat license at the Crisler Center. My boss is letting me work double shifts on Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays so I think I should be ok! Sure I miss my wife and kids but hey, GO BLUE!!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

LOL, while wearing your Adidas "throwback" jersey from the Cowboys Classic rooting on the Wells Fargo University of Michigan