Game Day Vitals
- #14 West Virginia Mountaineers (7-0, Big 12 0-0, ESPN RPI 50) vs. #10
- Series Record: Series tied 8-8
- Last meeting: WVU 55 UVA 56, March 14, 1985, WVU Coliseum
- Location: Madison Square Garden (Capacity: 19,812) New York City
- Vegas Lines: UVA (-5) O/U (136)
- Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 7 pm ET
- Television: ESPN (Rece Davis, Jay Bilas and Andy Katz)
- Online Streaming: WatchESPN adio Affiliates
- Head Coach - Tony Bennett, 7th year at Virginia (143-65), career 10th year (212-98)
- Last Result - Defeated William & Mary 67-52
- Official Virginia Cavaliers Athletics website
- SB Nation Virginia Site - Streaking The Lawn
You can't play against a team in New York City that's coached by a guy named Tony Bennett and not listen to this:
When the 7-0 #14 Mountaineers face off against the 7-1 #10 Cavaliers tonight in the opening game of the Jimmy V Classic, it will be the first time the two teams have met in 30 years. That seems like an awfully long time, especially considering how close West Virginia is to Richmond (at least in the minds of anyone outside the Mountain State) or in this case, Charlottesville. With the unfamiliarity also comes a vast difference in styles.
While West Virginia, a.k.a. #PressVirginia will look to push the tempo with its press and defense and slow down on offense, Virginia is more methodical in nature while playing stingy defense. Virginia also takes care of the ball and only averages 7.4 turnovers per game, a stat currently leading the nation. Meanwhile, WVU relies on turnovers and generally wreaks havoc on opposing ball handlers causing an average of 23.4 per game. This is the proverbial rock versus hard place type of situation for both teams.
The Virginia Cavaliers also like to shoot the three, and currently have 4 players shooting over 40% behind the arc. West Virginia utilizes its defense to hold opponents to 22% from long range. Virginia is currently averaging 77.4 points per game while the Mountaineers are scoring 88.4 and only allowing 57.6. These neighboring states, separated by different philosophies dating back to the Civil War, are again at opposite ends of the spectrum on the hardwood.
It is obvious that something will have to give when these two teams face off tonight in New York. Will the methodical Cavaliers grind their way to a win, or will the Mountaineers use their constant pressure to speed up the game and take Virginia out of its rhythm? Tune in tonight at 7:00 pm to watch this team test itself against a top notch opponent. It should be a good one.