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West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. VMI Keydets Preview: Season 108 Episode 9 - The One Opposite the Army-Navy Game

The Mountaineers return to Morgantown smack-dab in the middle of finals week to take on former Southern Conference foe VMI.

NCAA Basketball: James Madison at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

OPENING THOUGHTS

So how about that Western Carolina game? I honestly had no idea that they would be limited to 37 points for the entire game. That’s imPRESSive! (heh heh, see what I did there?)

Also, there was a half-decent crowd for that game. Around 8400 people crowded into the Charleston Civic Center (which, let’s face it, is a crappy arena) on a Wednesday night against an awful low-major team.

Not bad, Charlie West.

So now we get a few days off to stress over finals or holiday arrangements and then the Mountaineers return to the Coliseum this weekend.

This is WVU’s 50th all-time meeting against the Virginia Military Institute as the teams were once in the Southern Conference back in the "Hot Rod" Hundley/Jerry West/Rod Thorn days. The Mountaineers have only lost to the Keydets five times in the previous 49 meetings and I don’t see this one going any differently.

Honestly, if it were me, I’d be watching the Army-Navy game once it comes on at 3:00 on CBS instead. Both military academies are actually good and the Black Knights might actually break the streak this year.

No disrespect intended to the outstanding students at VMI. It’s a military academy just like any other and playing basketball is the easiest thing they do as they prepare to defend our great nation. I just don’t see this game being too entertaining.

Before I continue, just want to give one quick shout out to the Shepherd Rams football team. They have, for the second year in a row, advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Football Championship. The Rams will host future Division I-FCS team North Alabama on Saturday at noon in Shepherdstown for the right to advance to the national championship in Kansas City next week.

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Saturday, December 10th

Tip-Off Time: 2:00 PM ET

Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV

Tickets: General PublicWVU Students

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ROOT Sports Pittsburgh

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)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 136; XM 199

ODDS

Spread: WVU by 32.5

O/U: None released yet

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Lexington, Virginia

Series History: WVU leads the series 44-5. Both teams were Southern Conference foes from 1950-1968

Last Time: No. 21 West Virginia 103, VMI 72 on November 26, 2014 at the Charleston Civic Center

SB Nation Blog: Mid-Major Madness

Record: 1-6

Record in 2015-16: 9-21 (4-14 Southern)

Head Coach: Dan Earl (played at Penn State in the mid-1990s and has been an assistant coach for the Nittany Lions as well as the Naval Academy)

NCAA Basketball: Navy at VMI Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Yeah...not much constructive criticism needed right now. West Virginia has looked like a complete team for the past couple of games now. Until I see something from the Mountaineers that looks especially bad, I got nothing.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

One. I’m as afraid of the Keydets as I am of Mr. Bill.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

Bob Huggins will get win #799 and the only real question is whether the Mountaineers will hit 100 or not.

West Virginia 95, VMI 57