Where and when: 6:00 pm E.T. WVU Coliseum Streaming ESPN2
Matchup to watch: The matchup to watch in this game between two top 25 opponents is can the Mountaineers’ solid defense slow down the high-scoring Red Raiders’ offense? Texas Tech currently is scoring 75.1 points per game, good for the third-best total in all of the Big 12. In three of Texas Tech’s four losses, they have scored below 62 points. In nine of their ten wins, they have scored 70 or more points. The formula is pretty simple, the Red Raiders need to score points to win games. The Mountaineers, on the other hand, have won the opposite way. West Virginia is holding their opponents to just 60.36 points a game, second-best in the Big 12 behind Baylor. Something has got to give Saturday night, and whichever team plays more to their strength will likely win this game.
Picks to click: Texas Tech- #3 Jahmi’us Ramsey WVU – #1 Derek Culver
For Texas Tech, there is no doubt who is the engine that keeps them going as a team. Freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey has been clearly the Red Raider’s best player, and one of the best freshmen in all of college hoops. Ramsey has scored in double-figures in all but one game this season, and against the best defensive team in the Big 12 Baylor, still put up 20 points on 7-17 shooting. Shutting out Ramsey completely is unrealistic. He is going to get some production, but the key for the Mountaineers is not letting him go crazy. If West Virginia can hold Ramsey under 20 points, they have done an outstanding job.
For West Virginia, Saturday feels like a day that Derek Culver has a big day. Texas Tech is not a good defensive team, and West Virginia will be able to run up and down the court and get baskets in transition. This is where Culver will be able to shine. He has not scored in double-figures since the Youngstown State game, but that changes Saturday. The Mountaineers’ big man leads the team in scoring, putting together an outstanding game.
Game Prediction: Texas Tech 67 West Virginia 75
At the end of the day, the West Virginia defense prevails over the Texas Tech offense, leading the Mountaineers to their thirteenth win of the season.