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Jevon Carter and West Virginia set to face Jalen Brunson and Villanova in battle of former Big East foes

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The Mountaineers will face off against yet another familiar face, this time for a spot in the Elite Eight.

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OPENING THOUGHTS

I just want to let y’all know that I’m still laughing about what we did to Marshall on Sunday, and it’s honestly what got me through this week.

Let’s just take a minute and watch those highlights again.

With that out of the way, it’s time to be serious. Tonight, in Titletown, West Virginia will run up on arguably their toughest test this season - the Villanova Wildcats. Villanova is two years removed from a National Championship, and looks to be a serious contender to cut down the nets again this year.

But the Mountaineers relish the opportunity to ruin someone’s fun, and the victim this time could be their former Big East conference mates. Jevon Carter is a man with one goal, and he’s laser focused on that NCAA National Championship trophy.

Will the odds-on favorite Wildcats shoot their way closer to another National Championship, or will Press Virginia be able to contain Brunson and Mikal Bridges to get to their first Elite Eight since 2010?

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Tip-Off Time: 7:27 PM ET

Where: TD Garden Arena, Boston, Massachusetts

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional Practice Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: TBS

Streaming Video: NCAA March Madness | Hulu | CBS All Access (Subject to regional availability) | FuboTV

SiriusXM: Channel 81

ODDS

Spread: Villanova -5

O/U: 153

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Villanova, Pennsylvania

Series History: Villanova leads the all-time series 22-20

Last Meeting: West Virginia Mountaineers 83, Villanova Wildcats 69 on December 28, 2011 in Morgantown, West Virginia

SB Nation Blog: VU Hoops

Record: 32-4 (14-4 Big East)

Record in 2016-17: 32-4 (15-3 Big East); Lost to Wisconsin in NCAA East Region Second Round

Head Coach: Jay Wright (17th season)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional Practice Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

PLAYERS TO KNOW

  • Jalen Brunson, Guard - The 2017-2018 Big East Conference Player of the Year and Naismith Award candidate leads the Wildcats with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists per game, and is shooting 54% from the field. The Mountaineers will most likely give Brunson the Trae Young treatment to try to keep his impact to a minimum.
  • Mikal Bridges, Guard - Bridges is a dynamic swing-man, and can be deadly on the offensive end. Bridges is averaging 18 points and 5 assists per game, and is shooting 44% from beyond the arc. He went off in Villanova’s second round game against Alabama, finishing with 23 points on 5-of-8 from three point range.

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

TEN. I’ll be honest, I don’t like this matchup at all. West Virginia needs Esa Ahmad and/or Lamont West to bring their A-game, because Jevon, Dax and Sags probably won’t be able to do everything themselves. If Villanova gets hot from beyond the arc, it could get ugly.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

Jevon Carter isn’t ready to go home just yet. Carter scores a career high to lift the Mountaineers over the Wildcats and claim that spot in the Elite Eight.

West Virginia 77, Villanova 75