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Wahoos, Hokies agree to compete at home

The Virginia and Virginia Tech men's basketball teams have developed a new format for the new millennium.

The two schools agreed to a five-year deal that will move the yearly contest from neutral sites to campus facilities beginning in 2000-01.

"There were advantages to the neutral site arrangement in that fans from other areas were provided a chance to see the teams in person," Virginia's Athletic Director Terry Holland said in a press release. "But this is a good compromise arrangement that allows us to evaluate campus sites."

The annual grudge match has been played on neutral sites in every year since 1976. As part of the agreement, this season's game will remain at a neutral site when the squads face off Jan. 24 in Richmond.

The first on-campus game of the deal will be in 2000-01. The Cavaliers will travel to Blacksburg for the showdown in Cassell Coliseum.

"I was happy with the way the series has been played on neutral courts," Cav coach Pete Gillen said in a press release, "but we've agreed to play Virginia Tech at campus sites four times in the next five years."

The game will be played on the Friday night before the two schools' annual football clash. The date for the gridiron contest has not been announced.

The rest of the agreement alternates between Charlottesville and Blacksburg. In 2001-02 and 2003-04, the Hokies will visit town for the matchup. Virginia returns to the Virginia Tech campus for a game in 2002-03.

"I am very pleased that the student bodies of Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will be able to participate in the men's games on campus four out of the next five years," Virginia Tech Athletics Director Jim Weaver said in a press release.

Officiating crews for the contests will feature a mixture from both teams' conferences. The Hokies play basketball in the Atlantic 10, while the Cavaliers represent the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The last time Virginia and Virginia Tech played at an on-campus site was Feb. 25, 1976. The Cavs need two overtimes to dispatch the Hokies, 79-75, in University Hall. Tech last hosted the Cavaliers Jan. 11, 1975; the home team captured a narrow 75-74 win.

In all, the two squads have played 28 neutral-site games since the 1976 contest, with Virginia claiming 21 victories.