Game Day Vitals
- West Virginia Mountaineers (10-5, 2-0 Big XII) @ #14 Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-2, 1-1 Big XII)
- Series Record: 1-2, last meeting in Morgantown ended badly 73-57
- Location: Oliver Garden (Capacity: 14,000) Morgantown, West Virginia
- Vegas Lines: (+5) for the good guys O/U: 152.0
- Date: Saturday, January 11th, 2013 at 4:00 pm EST
- Television: Big XII Network / ESPN3 / WatchESPN
- Stations carrying the game locally include: MASN (Capital region), PCNC (Pittsburgh), WIYE-My 5 (Parkersburg), WVFX (North Central West Virginia), WQCW (Charleston-Huntington), and WTOV-DT2 (Northern Panhandle).
- O/U on Marcus Smart POTY conversations: 1.5
- Radio Affiliates
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- #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-2, 1-1 Big XII)
- Head Coach - Travis Ford, 6th year as Oklahoma State head coach, 240–180 career (.571)
- Last Result - Win vs. Texas in Stillwater 87-74
- Official Cowboys athletics website
- SBN Oklahoma State blog - Cowboys Ride for Free
The Mountaineers have gotten themselves on a pretty decent roll here to start conference play. After two road wins against TCU and Texas Tech, WVU finds themselves 1st in the Big XII standings despite only sitting 66th in the ESPN RPI. Their average RPI standing, as it has been said time and again, can be contributed to their lack of quality wins, going 0-fer gopher against the RPI 100. That being said, they certainly have plenty of opportunities to change that ahead of them and today is certainly a big one.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys come into Morgantown boasting a #11 ranking and one of the most talked about players of college basketball: Marcus Smart. This dynamic sophomore has gotten better since WVU has last faced him and senior Markel Brown has been lighting up the scoreboard. With both these guards averaging 17 points this season, the Cowboys' backcourt is one of the best in the country.
For the Mountaineers, the backcourt tends to be where the game is won and lost. However, WVU must have one of their best shooting performances of the season to keep up and dominate the boards to minimize second chance points. OSU isn't a particularly good rebounding team, so exploiting that would be a huge help in weathering runs and keeping the upper hand. This very well could be a coming-of-age for many players on this West Virginia squad and a victory in a powder keg Oliver Garden would have this team believing in themselves. Last night, I didn't think the Eers would pull it off. Today feels just right.
Prediction: WVU 84 OSU 80