With a Seton Hall clause built into Eddie Jordan’s first Rutgers contract, it was all but a formality that the heated in-state rivalry would continue under new management.
The rivalry extension became official Thursday afternoon with a joint announcement from the two athletic departments.
“I’m obviously very excited that this series is going to continue,” Jordan said. “I have been a part of this rivalry as both a player and an assistant coach, and I look forward to preparing our team for it. It helps to build spirit and is good for our University, our fans, our students and the New Jersey basketball community. It’s special and we can’t wait to grow the rivalry even more.”
With Rutgers in the American Athletic Conference for one year before its Big Ten transition and the Pirates set for the New Big East, the two athletic departments got to work to extend one of the best regional rivalries in college basketball.
The non-conference version of the Turnpike Tussle begins Dec. 8, 2013 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Rutgers begins its non-conference slate under Jordan in the pre-season NIT and has the Pirates as one of the final tests before conference play.
Rutgers and Seton Hall’s December game will be the third meeting between the teams in 2013 after the Scarlet Knights swept the Pirates in the final season of the Big East. Rutgers defeated the Pirates, 57-55, at home and, 56-51, in Newark to end losing streaks.
“Continuing a local college basketball rivalry with such a rich tradition only made sense,” said Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard in a statement. “This game has evolved into one that both fan bases look forward to each season, so we are happy to see it continue.”