The No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers meet the No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday at 2:00 pm EST on ESPN. West Virginia is 10-8 all-time versus Oklahoma State, including winning the last three meetings. West Virginia is 1-0 when both teams are ranked and 5-2 when ranked at home.
Schuyler Callihan: West Virginia 79, Oklahoma State 65
Oklahoma State will be without two key players today in Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekely. Had these two played, I would have expected the Cowboys to hang in and have a chance to win. Now with these two guys out, it almost seems impossible for Oklahoma State to leave Morgantown with a W.
Derek Culver nearly had a 20-point, 20 rebound game in the last matchup vs the Cowboys and with his recent struggles, I'm willing to bet Huggins will want to run the offense through him early and often to get him going and get his confidence back before tournament play.
West Virginia struggled offensively in Thursday's win over TCU shooting just 34.4% on the day and much of that was due to a lack of ball movement and hardly any aggression attacking the basket with just 20 points coming from within the paint. Expect the Mountaineers to take advantage of Oklahoma State's two guards being out of the lineup and drive the ball right at them. Give me the Mountaineers in convincing fashion for Huggs' 900th win.
Christopher Hall: West Virginia 84 Oklahoma State 73
Oklahoma may potentially be out two starters, forward Cade Cunnigham and point guard Isaac Likekele. Cunningham suffered a sprained ankle in the loss to Baylor Thursday night and Likekele has missed the last three games.
Whether or not the two will play will not make a difference in the final outcome, despite the progress the Cowboys have made this season. Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in turnovers at 15.8 per game. West Virginia on the other hand has steadily improved its defense in the final month of the regular season.
Mountaineer guard Taz Sherman had an off game and only recorded four points in the win over TCU on Thursday. I suspect he will have a bounce-back game because he has yet to have back-to-back single-digit performances during Big 12 play.
I expect Oklahoma State to fight and push West Virginia to the limits but the Mountaineers put up another good offensive performance and give head coach Bob Huggins his 900th career win and claim the two seed in the Big 12 Conference standing. West Virginia wins 84-73.
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