I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I’m sure the West Virginians in New York did.
First they watched The Pride of West Virginia perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade...
...and then watched the Mountaineers dismantle Illinois.
I honestly had no idea that WVU would nearly break 100 against Illinois! I mean seriously! The Mountaineers probably had a better defensive performance against the Illini than they did against New Hampshire on Sunday, considering who they were playing.
The game was great TV for those who were able to catch it. I only caught the second half myself. Turkey, my mom's homemade stuffing and my dad's pumpkin pie were my first priority as I'm sure you understand.
Coming up next in Brooklyn are the Temple Owls who upset 25th-ranked Florida State 89-86 earlier Thanksgiving afternoon.
Temple is an interesting opponent because they play to the level of their opponent. They played fellow Big 5 school La Salle to overtime, and lost to former conference foe UMass by three on the road.
Speaking of former conference foes, the Owls and the Mountaineers used to compete in the Atlantic 10 together back in the 1980s and early 1990s, so there is some basketball history there.
It should make for an interesting NIT Season Tip-Off final in Brooklyn.
Date: Friday, November 25th
Tip-Off Time: 3:00 PM ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: General Public
Streaming Video: WatchESPN (or the WatchESPN app for smartphones)
Radio: WZST Variety 101 (100.9 FM in Morgantown) and the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Radio Affiliates)
Streaming Audio: Locate the Mountaineers Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones)
None released yet
Where are they from? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Lower North Philly)
Series History: Temple leads the series 36-34. Both teams competed in the Atlantic 10 together from 1982 until 1995.
Last Time: West Virginia 82, No. 24 Temple 52 on March 12, 1998 in Boise, Idaho. Gale Catlett’s Mountaineers upset the 7th-seeded Owls en route to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they later upset Bob Huggins’ Cincinnati Bearcats, earning them a trip to the Sweet 16.
SB Nation Blog: Mid-Major Madness
Record in 2015-16: 21-12 (14-4 American); Lost in the First Round of the NCAA’s to Iowa (also in Brooklyn, just like WVU)
Head Coach: Fran Dunphy (coached Penn to great success in the 1990s and early 2000s before taking the Owls head coaching job in 2006)
KEYS TO THE GAME
- Obi Enechionyia can really score! Enechionyia averages over 20 points per game and scored 26 at UMass last Thursday.
- Daniel Dingle and Quinton Rose can score, but they have poor ball handling. These guys average around 6 turnovers per game between them. They are clearly weak spots on the court for the Owls and would be the perfect guys for WVU to rally some turnovers.
- FOUL SHOTS!! The Mountaineers are 303rd in the NCAA in foul shooting, averaging 62%. Seriously guys, these are some easy points.
HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?
Three. The Owls have some weapons, but they aren’t really a serious competitor. I’m actually baffled that they beat Florida State. I’m as afraid of Temple as most people are of going home for Thanksgiving.
PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG
This game will be fun. It’s a renewed Atlantic 10 rivalry and it should be close in the first ten minutes. Like the Illinois game, I think the Mountaineers will close the first half on a run and go into the locker with all of the momentum. During the last five minutes or so of the game, Temple will close on a small run to make the final score somewhat respectable.
West Virginia 81, Temple 66