BROOKLYN, N.Y. – West Virginia will face third-ranked Michigan in the inaugural Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. tonight in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The West Virginia-Michigan game is part of a college basketball triple-header at Barclays that also includes Fordham vs. Princeton at 2:30 p.m. and St. John’s vs. St. Francis, N.Y. at 5 p.m.
The Mountaineers (4-4) will be facing a familiar face in John Beilein, who led WVU to an Elite Eight appearance in 2005, a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2006 and an NIT championship in 2007 before departing for Michigan. Beilein has a 101-77 record in his sixth season at Michigan.
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins owns a 124-60 record at WVU in his sixth season and has taken the Mountaineers to five consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament during his stay in Morgantown.
Tonight’s game will be the third time Huggins has matched wits against Beilein – both prior games coming when Huggins was at Cincinnati.
MSN’s coverage (Tony Caridi, Jay Jacobs and Kyle Wiggs) of tonight’s game begins with the Coliseum Countdown at 7:30 p.m.
Here is tonight’s Countdown to Tipoff:
10 – WVU has won TEN of its last 16 games played in the state of New York. Under Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers are 14-9 in games played in the Empire State.
9 – NINE of Michigan’s 10 games so far this year have been played at either Crisler Arena or on neutral floors. Michigan’s only road game this year was at Bradley on Dec. 1.
8 – In EIGHT of the last 10 seasons, West Virginia has finished higher or equal than its preseason conference prediction. In the two seasons when WVU did not finish equal or higher, it finished one spot lower.
7 – Tonight’s game against Michigan will be West Virginia’s SEVENTH (out of its last nine) away from the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers have played just two games so far this year in their home arena.
6 – Bob Huggins has played SIX games against Big Ten teams during his coaching career, going 4-2 with two wins over Ohio State and victories over Purdue and Iowa.
5 – Michigan coach John Beilein spent FIVE years coaching at West Virginia from 2003-07, leading the Mountaineers to two NCAA tournament appearances and a pair of NIT trips.
4 – Senior forward Deniz Kilicli
leads all current Mountaineer players with FOUR career double-figure rebounding games.
3 – West Virginia’s last THREE victories over Top 10-ranked teams (No. 9 Georgetown in 2012, No. 8 Notre Dame in 2011 and No. 8 Purdue in 2010) were achieved by an average margin of 6.6 points per game.
2 –Deniz Kilicli
produced his SECOND career double-double versus Davidson (10 points and 11 rebounds) earlier this year.
1 – West Virginia and Michigan will be meeting for the FIRST time on the hardwood tonight in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Enjoy tonight’s game and be sure to stop back afterward for complete postgame coverage.