Where and when: 9:00 pm E.T. Gallagher-Iba Arena Streaming on ESPN2
Matchup to watch: The big matchup to watch in this Monday night affair is the battle of two of the top defensive teams in the Big 12. West Virginia and Oklahoma State have both been two of the best defensive teams in all of college basketball to this point of the season. The Cowboys have allowed 62 points per game and held their opponents to shooting just .36% from the field. In head coach Mike Boynton’s three seasons at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys have held their opponents to under 60 points 12 times. They are 12-0 in those games, six of them coming so far this season. The Mountaineers have been equally as impressive as the Cowboys on the defensive side this season. West Virginia is allowing 61.8 points per game and holding their opponents to .36% from the field and just .24% from three.
Picks to click: Oklahoma State- Cameron McGriff West Virginia- Miles McBride
For Oklahoma State, Cameron McGriff has been a consistent force in the frontcourt all season long. The 6’7 senior has recorded five or more rebounds in 11 of Oklahoma State’s 13 games this season and has scored in double-digits in four of the last six games. With West Virginia being so solid defensively, the Cowboys will need a solid scoring presence down low, and McGriff could be that guy.
For West Virginia, freshman Miles McBride has been the biggest pleasant suprise early on this season. The 6’2 guard has scored in double-figures in four straight games, including 21 points against Ohio State and 13 against Kansas. If McBride was able to put up these efforts against two of the nation’s top teams, he should be able to feast in Big 12 Conference play. That will start tonight when McBride extends his streak to five-in-a-row against Oklahoma State.
Game Prediction: West Virginia 63 Oklahoma State 55
This won’t be an easy matchup for the Mountaineers. The Cowboys are a tough, defensive-minded team, and playing on the road is never easy. In the end, the better team pulls away, and the Mountaineers walk out with their twelfth win of the season.