MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia received an NIT invite Sunday night, one that resurrects memories of the program’s Big East days.

The Mountaineers (17-15) visit Georgetown (17-14) on Tuesday night in the opening round of the NIT, a consolation gift for two programs that held out slight NCAA hopes in recent weeks. Tip-off is 7 p.m. on ESPN.

Both teams enter having dropped five of their last seven games and seeking to rebound from embarrassing losses in their conference tournaments.

West Virginia’s 66-49 ouster by Texas in the Big 12 quarterfinals stung because Bob Huggins’ team fell behind early, trailed by 30 and was never competitive. Georgetown’s 60-56 loss to DePaul in the Big East hurt because it came against, well, DePaul—a last-placed team that had not beaten the Hoyas since 1994.

“We’re happy to be able to continue play in the postseason,” Huggins said. “Obviously, we are playing a team that we are familiar with and a team that is familiar with us from our Big East battles. We’ve had great games recently with Georgetown and in Washington, D.C., at the NCAA tournament. Mountaineer Nation has always turned out in great numbers in games there, and I know they will be there on Tuesday.”

The fan numbers can’t be too great, however. Because the Verizon Center has a previous commitment, the NIT game will be played at the 2,500-seat McDonough Arena, a campus gym where the Hoyas practice. (It also hosted a Dwight Eisenhower inaugural ball.)

West Virginia is the No. 5 seed and Georgetown No. 4 in the Florida State quadrant. The survivor meets the winner of FSU and Florida Gulf Coast—yes, that Florida Gulf Coast—in the second round. Other matchups in the quadrant include No. 2 seed Georgia hosting Vermont and No. 3 seed Louisiana Tech hosting Iona. Three wins gets a team to Madison Square Garden for the NIT Final Four, where West Virginia won the NIT in 2007.

The Mountaineers and Hoyas share two common opponents this season: Georgetown smoked Kansas State 90-63 in the Puerto Rico Tip-off in November, then lost at Kansas 86-64 on Dec. 21.

Though West Virginia has won the last five meetings against Georgetown dating back to 2009, the Hoyas lead the series 26-25.

“I wish it was not an old foe, just because there is very much a familiarity with how we do things and how they do things, but we’re excited,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III told the Washington Post on Sunday night. “There are many teams whose season is over right now. Are we where we want to be? No. But are we still playing and looking for a championship? Yes.”

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  • wv4ever

    Anybody that knows anything about basketball knows that WVU was not NCAA Tournament caliber, so, just shut up about it! I will be curious to see how this great Big 12 conference does against other teams to prove they are the best. Wasn't that way in the Top 25. Lastly, I hope we don't eat CROW if Georgetown pounds sand up our you know whats, since, all the braggarts have us so far ahead of Big East. So, let's enjoy one of the worst of the Big East vs. one of the worst of the Big 12, sport fans.

    • don

      Wv4ever, you are spot on. This team is a couple of GOOD big men to really be competitive. As for now they dont deserve an ncaa berth. Also agree that all those talking about how much better the big 12 is than the big east may indeed be eating a dose of reality after Georgetown dism antles wv. Not looking forward to seeing another humiliation.

      • Mister Man

        How good the BE is compared to the Big 12 boils down to WVU vs Georgetown? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mister Man

          I feel sorry for the experts who say the Big 12 is the best basketball conference in the country. I guess they don't read these posts concerning the NIT.

    • Aaron

      I disagree completely. In looking at the bracket, WV beat a #2 seed, a #3 seed, a #5 seed, #6 seed and #9 seed, In addition they were competitive with several other teams in the tournament.

      This was a team that could have easily won 5 more games which would have put them in the tournament.

      While I do not believe they deserved t a bid to the tournament, to say they were not a tournament caliber team is an incorrect statement that is backed in bias, not basketball knowledge.

      • Old Man and the Sea

        What the hell r u talking about? "Could have easily won 5 more games"? Dude, scub u'r head out...if it was so easy, what didn't they win them to begin with? Insight you ain't got.

        • Aaron

          Sorry man, I quit trying to teach the unteachable years ago.

          • Aaron

            I can't fix your reading comprehension dude. There's a difference in easy wins and easily winnable. I'm sorry you're not smart enough to catch that but again, I'm not here to teach the unteachable.

          • Old Man and the Sea

            So you've given up on yourself...makes sense.

            You're a wimp without a clue...weak come back as you're reply doesn't address your initial statement, i.e. If they were easy wins, why didn't they win themm?

      • Mister Man

        I get the gist of your post Aaron, and I agree.

      • WV4ever

        Well, it seems EVERYONE in charge of the NCAA Tournament agrees with me and not YOU. I guess they have no basketball knowledge, either. I just hope that NIT is not a one and done to save face for WVU. We have done nothing but dis the Big East since leaving.

        • Aaron

          What is truly said is that you don't even understand why you are wrong.

          • Aaron


          • wv4ever

            Nothing to understand from you comment, it just blah,blah,blah. BECAUSE THAT PART OF THE SEASON IF OVER! Now just cheer they can survive Georgetown! New season, first game tomorrow night!

          • Mister Man


  • Big Larry

    One and Done....

    • Jay

      And down comes the sky.

  • jay zoom

    the way the rule goes - the team with the highest seed gets the game at home - or so I was told. WVU (Huggins and Luck) got their bubble busted because they thought they would be a number one or two seed in this tourney and host a home game. A number 5 seed is a gift for what this team has accomplished this year. at the end of the day It will be - ONE AND DONE - I wonder if Oliver Luck will be at Mcdonough Arena trying to collect $20.00 in the parking lot. that's all he is good for. THANKS OLLIE

    • wvrefugee

      Ha! Good stuff! OL has completely destroyed this athletics department! I'll buy you a steak dinner if OL is anywhere near DC on Tuesday night! Well wait, if Andrew is there, he will be there!

      • wvudavid

        You guys just don't get it. Once you get your big boy pants on and realize it's a business and the goal of business is to make a profit, you will understand

  • Leroy j Gibbs

    Georgetown used to be great. What happened to them?

  • William

    WVU is where they belong!
    Playing an old Big East team.
    Two terrible team, should make for a terrible game.
    What a sad year to be a Mountaineer fan, wherever you may be!
    And yes,

    • Mister Man

      What a sad year to be a Marshall...................

    • Ron

      You're a loser, who cares if you watch it or not. I don't see marshall playing any post season tournaments.

    • Bondo

      Where is Marshall playing ?

  • squad

    the reason jt is upset is cause ever since the trapped vs the board finale in huggs1st yr here, we have kicked their asses.

  • Dennis

    With a 2,500 seat arena what will WVU's ticket allotment be...500? Most of this will be taken by the university and staff. Not many tickets will be left for Huggins fans.

    • Jay

      It has been announced. 150. Already allocated.

  • Hoffy

    It doesn't matter where you play.
    Win the game.
    No excuses.

  • Oh Did Ya?

    Did anyone see the 30 on 30 special on ESPN about the Big East? There was, as usual, a nice portrayal of WV with a banjo player and people dancing around.

    • Worm

      Hell, governor Wise clogged all over the state and the current governor doesn't have full set of teeth. Plus the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia are real people. You must not travel around WV much. Plan a trip to Gary and Welch for a real education. It will make what you saw on ESPN a proud moment.

  • Mike

    Seems very much this game, and the seedings, were arranged for ESPN TV. It's the best matchup of two name teams that the NIT may have in the entire tournament. This series goes way back, with two fairly recent final four teams. At least we get one more prime time ESPN game. We need to make a good showing.

  • Dave

    Can't wait. I'm glad it's against Georgetown. Should be a good game.

  • Billy

    Only 2500 seats? That is just a step above playing outside.

    • wvrefugee

      The high school where I coached in KY seated 5,000! We have arrived!

      • Mister Man

        You must be a Georgetown fan. Yes, you have arrived.

  • rj

    Terrible for NIT Committee to put this game in a high school gym setting. WOW! I thought they went for tickets? In MoTown could have sold 14, 000 plus!!! POLITICS!!! We get the "shaft" again. I am shocked for this game played in a little gym. Get real. Go Eers!!!

    • J Mcdaniels

      Don't kid yourself......WVU would not have sold close 14,000 for an NIT game. If it had been placed in Morgantown, and being the opponent was Georgetown, maybe 7,000. Attendance has been an issue all season. Gtown will definitely have a home court advantage in their small gym. Bullet's or Capitol's must have been in town on Tuesday or they face the same issue. Little interest and few sales for a big arena.

      • rj

        J Mcdaniels
        I respectfully disagree, since it IS our old nemesis Georgetown I do believe we would have been close to 14,000. Sorry but your missing the point anyway. If Georgetown could not give a better seating for visiting teams, why have the home court? It is all about money for NIT folks! I'll tell you why! POLITICS!!! This was a terrible blunder on the committees part and Georgetown for not making a better place to play.

      • Mitch

        @ j Mcdaniels,

        Well don't kid yourself that 2,500 is anywhere close to 7,000 either.....HELLO?

        • rj

          Good point! Even 7000 is better than 2500!!!

  • shawn

    I hope you're kidding about the 2500 capacity. That's a joke!

    • CaptainQ

      They don't call it the "Not Invited Tournament" for nothing.....

      • NOT important tourney

        This has always been the Not Important Tournament. And with only 2500 seats it really is not important. ESPN will really think WVU is at home in Virginia.

      • Mister Man

        Nobody calls it that.

    • Artimus

      Nope. It's for real. 2,500 seats.

  • pghmountaineer

    This should be fun to watch. I'm glad to see we're playing a program with the history of Georgetown.
    It's back to the future in the Big East.

    • MtneerinOhio

      I do miss those real Big East games.