Date: Sunday March 18, 2018
Tip-off: 9:40 p.m. ET
Venue: Viejas Arena in San Diego.
Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Tony Caridi & Jay Jacobs)
TV stream: TBS (Carter Blackburn, Debbie Antonelli and John Schriffen)
Projected West Virginia Lineup
Daxter Miles Jr.
Projected Marshall Lineup
Why West Virginia Will Win
Three years ago was the last time the Mountaineers and Marshall played against each other. Now, 2,000-plus miles away from the Mountain State, the two team meet for a spot in the Sweet 16 against No.1-seeded Villanova. WVU is heavily favored over the Thundering Herd. As seen numerous times this week, any team on any given day can upset anyone. The Mountaineers defeated Murray State 85-68 on Friday afternoon. During the win, WVU’s defense contained Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year Jonathan Stark. The Mountaineers’ defense limited the senior to just nine points. Prior to Friday’s game, Stark was averaging 21.8 points per contest. Jevon Carter (17.1 points) had 21 points and eight assists for WVU. Esa Ahmad (10.2 points) chipped in 12 points and Sagaba Konate finished with 14. The Mountaineers got a much-needed contribution from their bench. Teddy Allen tallied 16 points. Sophomore Logan Routt added seven points and was an asset on defense. He added a spark WVU needed. In the first game of the day, Marshall upset Wichita State, 81-75. Guard Jon Elmore (22.9 points) scored 27 points and forward Ajdin Penava (15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds) added 16 points and eight rebounds to give the Herd their first NCAA Tournament victory in school history. Guard C.J. Burks (20.3) points is another key component of this feisty Marshall team. The Mountaineers love to speed up opponents, causing them to turn the ball over but the Herd is used to fast pace basketball. And Marshall knows how to make shots from 3-point range, which could be problematic for WVU. Coming into Sunday’s game, the Herd is riding a four-game winning steak. This will be the 45th meeting between The Mountaineers and Marshall that began in 1929. WVU holds a 33-11 series advantage. The Mountaineers have won the last five meetings and nine of the last 10. Bob Huggins is 9-1 all-time against the Herd.
West Virginia 86, Marshall 82
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS