SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey rivals Seton Hall and Rutgers are going to continue their basketball rivalry for the next eight years.
The schools announced Thursday that they have signed an eight-year agreement to continue the men's basketball series at alternating home sites beginning next season. The first meeting will take place at Rutgers Dec. 8.
The rivalry was put in jeopardy when the Big East Conference splintered this season. Rutgers will play in the American Athletic Conference next season before moving to the Big Ten Conference in 2014. Seton Hall will continue to play in the new Big East Conference, which kept all the Roman Catholic universities.
``I'm obviously very excited that this series is going to continue,'' Rutgers coach Eddie 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.''
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said keeping the rivalry makes sense.
``This game has evolved into one that both fan bases look forward to each season,'' he said, ``so we are happy to see it continue.''
Rutgers' four home games in the series will take place at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway in December of 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. Seton Hall's four home games in the series will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark in December of 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.
The Scarlet Knights and Pirates have met 64 times on the collegiate hardwood dating back to 1916. Seton Hall holds a 35-29 advantage in victories. Seventeen of the last 19 meetings have been decided by six points, or less or in overtime. Rutgers has won the last three games, but the Pirates captured victories in six of the prior eight contests. Rutgers is 16-15 at home in the series.