West Virginia is replacing Tennessee in next week’s Jimmy V Classic, it was announced on Wednesday.
West Virginia will face preseason No. 1 Gonzaga next Wednesday night in Indianapolis. The other game in the event features No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 8 Illinois.
The No. 12 Volunteers had to withdraw on Tuesday after being forced to extend their program shutdown. They paused activities on Monday after positive COVID-19 tests within the program, including one from head coach Rick Barnes.
The Mountaineers, ranked No. 15 in the preseason AP poll, open their season at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in South Dakota. They face South Dakota State on Wednesday night.
Adding West Virginia to its schedule means Gonzaga will still face four top-15 teams in the first month of the season: No. 6 Kansas (Thursday), No. 15 West Virginia (next Wednesday), No. 2 Baylor (Dec. 5) and No. 5 Iowa (Dec. 19).
“It’s kind of what we’ve always tried to do here,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few told ESPN last week, regarding his scheduling philosophy. “This year, it becomes even more special, seeking out these high-profile games, trying to make it as special as I can for my players. Games they’re really excited to play.”