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Big 12 move has some downside for West Virginia basketball

Bob Huggins and West Virginia are leaving behind a stout brand in Big East basketball and arriving in a conference that will mean major road trips for the Mountaineers. But they will land in a more stable conference and help plug the hoops hole left by Missouri's departure.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 13, 2012

Huggins also admits he will miss the Big East Tournament, which the Mountaineers won in 2010.

“Let's be honest,” Huggins said. “I don't think you can replicate that. How can you replicate New York City? There's only one New York City.

“Kansas City's a great venue (for the Big 12 Tournament). People there are fantastic. People there are great sports people, great basketball people.”

Huggins talks glowingly of his one season at K-State. KSU revived Huggins' career after he was convicted of drunken driving and was forced out at the University of Cincinnati in 2005.

“I loved it,” Huggins said. “I would never have left Kansas State for a place other than here.”

The difference is, Huggins' family is back in West Virginia. He has four sisters, two brothers and a father able to attend most games. So Huggins left the Big 12. And now he's back.

Back because of football, which drives all realignment, but that doesn't mean Mountaineer basketball has to suffer.

“I think there's a lot of excitement,” Huggins said. “We've got a heck of a football program, which has played for a couple of national championships. So that's important to us. But honestly, I don't feel like we're taking a step backward in basketball.”

The Big 12 would not have been West Virginia basketball's choice. But sounds like the Mountaineers are making the best of it.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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Berry Tramel's six-part series on the Big 12's newcomers:

— West Virginia pride

— West Virginia football

— West Virginia basketball

— TCU pride

— TCU basketball

— TCU football


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