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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: West Virginia gets ready to host Oklahoma State

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.

WVU/OK STATE PREVIEW

The West Virginia men’s basketball team got back in the winning column on Saturday, with its comeback win over Kansas State. The Mountaineers started slow, and their deficit grew to as large as 17 points, before senior guard Sean McNeil led WVU to a 71-68 victory. McNeil tied his career high with 26 points. Fifth-year senior Gabe Osabuohien had the biggest impact for the Mountaineers. He led the team with a season-high 12 rebounds, took a handful of charges, and led WVU in plus-minus with a +18.

Now the Mountaineers are preparing to host Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are just 8-5 this season, but two of their losses were to top-15 opponents and they just upset #14 Texas on Saturday. OSU also has a bizarrely strong record against WVU in Morgantown, winning six of the nine matchups at WVU since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12.

WVU probably can’t afford another slow start in this game. OK-State is hot coming off of its upset win over the Longhorns, so the Mountaineers will have to be ready to play as soon as the game tips off. The game will be televised on ESPNU at 9:00 p.m. ET.

WRESTLING RECAP

West Virginia redshirt sophomore Anthony Carman went 3-0 this weekend in a round-robin tournament against wrestlers from #10 Virginia Tech and Binghamton. Overall, the WVU wrestling team struggled in Blacksburg. The team only had six individual match wins and three of those were Carman’s in the 184-pound division. Redshirt junior Alex Hornfeck, junior Scott Joll, and freshman Tristan Kemp earned the other three victories for the Mountaineers. Carman’s leading effort made him this week’s WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.

WVU head coach Tim Flynn noted that the team needs to improve on its consistency as the season moves forward. The Mountaineers will be tested again on Sunday when they host #4 Oklahoma State and Columbia. The Big 12 competition against the Cowboys will be televised on ESPNU at 1:00 p.m. ET and the matchup with the Lions will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ at 3:00 p.m. ET.

TOP COLLEGE BASKETBALL CONFERENCE

Despite a 12-2 record, the WVU men’s basketball team still finds itself outside of the top 25. The Mountaineers are receiving votes in the national polls, but are apparently less deserving than Tennessee, Alabama, and Villanova, who all have four losses. On the bright side, the Big 12 continues to flex its basketball dominance. Despite being one of the smaller college basketball conferences, in terms of the number of teams in the league, the Big 12 has the most teams that are ranked or receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls, with seven of the 10 teams earning votes.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • In case you missed it, the West Virginia football program made a big move earlier this week by bringing in offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. Mountaineer fans are excited by this development, considering WVU’s offensive struggles under head coach Neal Brown.
  • The West Virginia women’s basketball team is now 0-2 in conference play, following a 71-61 loss to Kansas State at home. WVU is now 7-5 this season and will host Texas Tech on Wednesday night.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • The Big 12 had three notable upsets in men’s basketball this past weekend. Then-#11 Iowa State lost to Oklahoma in Norman, 79-66. The Cyclones are now ranked #15.
  • As mentioned, the Oklahoma State basketball team surprised the league by knocking off then-#14 Texas, 64-51. Junior guard Keylan Boone came off the bench to lead the Cowboys with 17 points. The Longhorns dropped to #21 in the national rankings.
  • Then-#6 Kansas was the third team to be upset in conference play, falling to then-#25 Texas Tech, 75-67. The Jayhawks are now ranked ninth in the nation and the Red Raiders are #19.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • The Miami basketball team stunned then-#2 Duke in Durham on Saturday. The Hurricanes defeated the Blue Devils, 76-74. Duke fell to #8 in the country following the loss.
  • Alabama almost fell completely out of the top-25 following its upset loss to Missouri.
  • Colorado State was undefeated until its devastating loss to San Diego State this weekend, 79-49.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The NFL Playoff bracket is set. Wild-card weekend starts with AFC matchups on Saturday that have the #5 Las Vegas Raiders traveling to Cincinnati to face the #4 Bengals, and the #3 Buffalo Bills will be hosting the #6 New England Patriots.

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