The West Virginia Mountaineers take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at 1:30 on ESPN in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic Championship game Friday afternoon.
Schuyler Callihan: West Virginia 78, Western Kentucky 74
Don't be fooled by the name of Western Kentucky. This is a very well-coached and experienced team that brings back all five starters from a year ago and adds Davidson transfer and Poca, WV native Luke Frampton.
The Hilltoppers have a solid big man of their own in Charles Bassey, and many believe he is an NBA lottery pick. Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe will have their hands full with him, which will be their first real challenge on the glass.
I think Western Kentucky could win this game if West Virginia can't make shots and turn the ball over more than 12 times. If those two things happen, I don't see the Mountaineers coming away with a win. With that said, I believe Sean McNeil has a huge game from three, and Deuce McBride does a much better job of taking care of the basketball. I've got the Mountaineers in a very close one.
Christopher Hall: West Virginia 75, Western Kentucky 70
West Virginia and Western Kentucky may not be the championship game fans envisioned from the initial Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic bracket, but this is an excellent test for the Mountaineers.
The Hilltoppers are led by 6-11 junior Charles Bassey, who was one of the top recruits in the country in 2018 and is averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first two games of the season but is prone to turning the ball over.
However, senior savvy guard Taveion Hollingsworth is averaging 22.0 points per game in the Crossover Classic and led the team in scoring last season at 16.6 by attacking the rim and getting to the foul line.
This game will come down to the final minutes of the game, but West Virginia holds on 75-70.
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