Game Day Vitals
- #23 West Virginia Mountaineers (20-6, Big XII 8-5, NCAA RPI 26) vs. #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-9, Big XII 7-7, NCAA RPI 28)
- Series Record: 1-4, last matchup was a close loss in Lubbock last year L 81-75
- Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena (Capacity: 13,611) Stillwater, Oklahoma
- Vegas Lines: (+5) for the good guys, O/U: 132.0
- Date: Saturday, Feb 21, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
- Television: ESPNNews/WatchESPN App
- Radio Affiliates
- #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-9, Big XII 7-7, NCAA RPI 28)
- Head Coach: Travis Ford, Seventh year as Oklahoma State head coach, 330–229 career (.592)
- Last Result - Loss to #14 Iowa State in Stillwater L 70-65
- Official Cowboys athletics website
- SBN Oklahoma State blog - Cowboys Ride for Free
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have not missed a beat after losing Marcus Smart to the draft last year. Junior guards Phil Forte III and Le'Bryan Nash were the most effective against the Mountaineers last year, but not having to key up against a talent like Smart simplifies things. As we all know, the story is completely different this year with #PressVirginia being instated, but that doesn't change how deadly Forte and Nash can be if given open shots. In fact, it magnifies it. One of the cons of this press is that, once you break through the initial line of defense, field goal percentage goes through the roof with open shots and layups. With Forte shooting 40% from beyond the arc this year, the Mountaineers need to at least get a hand in his face.
As always, this game hinges on two things: if the Mountaineers can force a sizable amount of turnovers compared to what they give up and if West Virginia can maximize on that field goal attempts discrepancy. If Oklahoma State struggles to break the press, this could get interesting. If they cannot, the snow might not be the only thing getting you down this Saturday. For optimism's sake, let's say Jevon Carter keeps shooting like he did at the end of the KU game and this Huggins' team has the confidence to ride into Stillwater and get a win, shall we?
Prediction: WVU 72, Oklahoma State 60