The Big 12 really doesn’t do its teams any favors with this scheduling. After hosting the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday afternoon, the Texas Longhorns travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers on Monday evening. It’s a tall order to pull off such a quick turnaround, but doing it against two of the 10 best teams in the nation makes the task particularly daunting.
Texas is coming off a loss at the hands of the Jayhawks 66-57, where the Longhorns didn’t play all that bad; they just couldn’t get it done in the second half. Jericho Sims had one of his best games of the season, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds to go with a couple of blocks. He didn’t receive a ton of help though as the Longhorns made just six triples and shot just nine free throws in the game.
West Virginia is also coming off of a loss on Saturday, falling to Kansas State 84-68 in Manhattan. West Virginia came out of the gate slowly and found itself down by 18 at the half.
The Mountaineers turned the ball over 18 times in the game and committed 24 fouls while shooting just 12-of-22 from the line and 6-of-23 from behind the three-point line.
Coming into the weekend, Kansas State was thought to be one of the worst teams in the Big 12, while West Virginia was considered a team that could challenge for an Elite Eight or even Final Four run come NCAA Tournament time. However, like everything else in college basketball this season, both of those thoughts may be changing quickly.
West Virginia is a 10-point favorite at home, with the over/under set at 126.
Trying To Take The Mountaineers By The Horns
Texas is one of the most difficult teams in the nation to figure out. The Longhorns have good guard play and quality big men, but they just can’t seem to get it all together.
The Longhorns are 4-3 straight up in road and neutral-site games but are a subpar 6-11 against the spread on the season and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games. They have gone under in 10 of their 17 games on the season, including four of their last five.
Kings Of The Mountain
Despite their weekend beatdown at the hands of Kansas State, the Mountaineers have been one of the more reliable teams in the nation this season. West Virginia is 12-2 straight up as a favorite on the season and a perfect 8-0 at home.
Against the spread, the Mountaineers are 10-7 overall and 5-1 in their last six games. The Mountaineers have gone under in 12 of their 17 games on the season and five of their eight games at home.
Can Livestock Climb A Mountain?
The Longhorns have been disappointing for basically the entire Shaka Smart era. During his time in Austin, the Longhorns are just 12-33 in true road games and 4-13 in true road games against ranked opponents. Of course, Smart is 5-4 against West Virginia during his time in the burnt orange.
As usual, West Virginia’s advantage will be its size. Derek Culver and Oscar Tscheibwe will be a handful for a young, inexperienced Texas front line. Miles McBride has also been a weapon for the Mountaineers, averaging 14 points per game off the bench over his last eight games.
Inconsistency has been the name of the game for Texas all season, and its offense has been seriously lacking lately. Look for West Virginia to rebound (pun intended) and put a hurting on Texas. I like West Virginia to cover, and you should play the under.
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