The Kansas State Wildcats (9-11, 2-5 Big 12, NR/NR) make the return trip to face the West Virginia Mountaineers (16-4, 4-3 Big 12, 12/11). It’s the start of a long weekend for the Cats, as they’ll have to return home this evening and quickly prepare to host the #1-ranked Baylor Bears on Monday night. If you want to make sure you’re there just in case K-State can pull an upset over the top dogs in the nation, you can always swing by StubHub. (affiliate link)
Two weeks ago, these same two teams met at Bramlage with West Virginia ranked one spot lower in each poll than they are now. The Wildcats absolutely stomped their guests in an 84-68 rout, at one point leading 53-29 before the Mountaineers closed to within six points midway through the second half. But K-State pulled away again, sweeping the knee with a 9-0 run to regain control. Cartier Diarra led the way with 25 points in that contest, but has since fallen out of the starting lineup. DaJuan Gordon, meanwhile, announced his presence in that game with a career high 15 points and forced his way into the starting lineup ahead of Diarra, while Mike McGuirl has returned to the court after missing that game with injury woes.
Indeed, in K-State’s last outing it was McGuirl who led the way, scoring 16 points off the bench to help the Cats to a 61-53 home win over Oklahoma on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, West Virginia had a big game. The result wasn’t as pleasant for them, as they walked into Lubbock and came back out with an 89-81 loss to Texas Tech.
K-State has a three-game winning streak in this series, narrowing West Virginia’s all-time lead to 10-8. The Wildcats have been surprisingly successful at the current home of the Mountaineers, winning three of the seven games played there including last year’s contest; they lost the lone meeting at the old WVU Fieldhouse back in the dark ages, so they’re 3-5 all-time in Morgantown.
Bruce Weber and Bob Huggins have now dueled to a draw, with a 9-9 record against one another. Against both Huggins (including Huggy’s time at Cincinnati) and the Mountaineers (including Weber’s own time elsewhere), Weber has gone 2-5 on the road; Huggins is 10-7 against his former one-year employer, 5-2 at home.
Per Vegas Insider, West Virginia started as a 12-point favorite, and the line hasn’t really budged. With an over of 131, that suggests a 72-60 Mountaineer win.
First whistle is set for 1:05 p.m. CST at WVU Coliseum (capacity 14,000) in Morgantown, W. Va.
The game will air on ESPN2, with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Tim Welsh (analyst) handling the call. Streaming will be via WatchESPN on the ESPN app.
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) will call the action on the K-State Sports Network. XM satellite radio will carry the game on channel 388. The audio will also be available for free on TuneIn and at kstatesports.com.
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