February is full of big-time games for many West Virginia teams. Six WVU sports teams have a combined 15 matchups against top-25 ranked opponents. And there are also a handful of rivalry games coming up. Let’s take a look at this month’s biggest games for the Mountaineers.
Honorable Mention: Baseball at Arizona Diamondbacks (Exhibition) (February 27th)
Baseball season starts this month, and West Virginia will be taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks in an exhibition game. WVU went 33-22 last season, with a strong home record of 17-6, and many analysts think that the Mountaineers will be one of the most improved Big 12 teams.
5. #3 Rifle at #4 Kentucky (February 11th)
The #3 West Virginia rifle team is on a five-match winning streak. The Mountaineers are 15-3, with an 8-0 record in GARC competition. They will look to stay undefeated in the GARC when they face #4 Kentucky in the final match of the regular season. WVU has defeated the reigning NCAA Champion Wildcats twice this year, with the latest win being a close 4751-4726 match.
4. #36 Gymnastics at #1 Oklahoma (February 24th)
All five matches this month for the #36 West Virginia gymnastics team are against opponents in the top 60, including #8 Denver and this matchup against #1 Oklahoma. The Mountaineers’ strong point this season has been the floor exercise, which is the Sooners’ “worst” event. Although WVU cracks the top 25 in floor, Oklahoma is currently ranked third in the nation. The Mountaineers will need strong performances in every event if they want to upset the top-ranked Sooners.
3. Men’s Basketball at #10 Texas (February 11th)
January was a rough month for the West Virginia men’s basketball team. The Mountaineers lost their first four games of the month, before picking up a few wins to go 3-6 in January. February won’t be any easier, with five of WVU’s next eight games being against top-15 teams. One of those matchups is with #10 Texas. The Longhorns are at the top of the Big 12, with a 7-2 record in conference play and an 18-4 overall record.
2. #3 Rifle at NCAA Qualifying Match (February 18th)
After winning five straight national championships from 2013 to 2017, the WVU rifle team has been chasing its 20th NCAA title for the past five years. The Mountaineers have a very experienced group this season, which could help them in postseason competition. WVU has five seniors and four juniors on its 11-member team. Senior Mary Tucker had led the Mountaineers with an average aggregate score of 1190.75 this year, which is boosted by her unbelievable 598 average in air rifle. Tucker and WVU will compete in the NCAA Qualifying Match later this month in Lexington, Virginia.
1. Men’s Basketball vs #8 Kansas (February 25th)
The biggest game of the month for WVU athletics is the men’s basketball game at #8 Kansas. The Mountaineers need major wins this month if they’re going to make a push for the NCAA Tournament and this matchup gives them a great opportunity. WVU has never won in Lawrence, but other Big 12 teams have proven that Allen Fieldhouse might not be as formidable as usual this season. The Jayhawks won the first matchup between these two teams earlier this year, in a game that ended up being a poor showing for the Mountaineers. WVU can avenge that loss in this game and try to head into March with some momentum.
Be sure to tune in to support WVU for these games and let us know what other matchups you are looking forward to this month!