We've heard nothing but hype over Missouri's "Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball," mostly from Missouri coaches and players themselves. No doubt about it, Missouri's pressure will be a difficult test, but this isn't some unsolvable Rubik's Cube, as some further west would have you believe.
Lately, opponents have experienced the WVU buzzsaw and left with little idea of what they tried to accomplish before the game. West Virginia's defense and rebounding are great equalizers -- which is saying something considering we're talking about a #2 seed and the #5 ranked team in the country -- extending possessions and keeping the ball in WVU's hands for the majority of the game. Put those talents on the floor with Missouri, who don't rebound and look to create frenetic chaos, and you have established a huge matchup disparity right off the bat.
West Virginia is a five point favorite today, but if the Mountaineers are able to establish their will on this game, I don't believe it will be that close. If Missouri's pandemonium takes over, however, that line looks pretty damn scary. The emergence of Joe Mazzulla and his mostly healed shoulder become extra important today, as holding on to the basketball becomes job #1 throughout the game. If that happens, as I believe it will, then WVU meets the track-meet that is Washington in the Sweet Sixteen. If not, well, I'd just rather not think about it.
Alright, enough rambling. Post your pre-game, in-game, and post-game comments below. And, as always...