The West Virginia men’s basketball team won a Big 12 game by 32 points Tuesday night. That sounds substantial, but it’s merely what the 12th-ranked team should do on its home court against an unranked opponent.
In order to maintain its status as a serious contender in the conference, WVU hoops has to do it again Saturday. Anything less than another dominant outing could put that title in question for pollsters and West Virginia sports betting fans.
The West Virginia men’s basketball team did what they should against TCU
The Horned Frogs were greatly outmatched Tuesday night in Morgantown. The Mountaineers again relied upon their stalwart defense, extending their streak of holding opponents under 60 points to five consecutive games.
What helped West Virginia stay undefeated at home this year was its bench as well. Players like freshman guard Miles McBride helped WVU shoot almost 58% from the field as a team.
Combining that with forcing 20 turnovers and a +14 edge in rebounding produces a lopsided result. Perhaps the only downside to the victory is that it likely won’t win WVU many points with those who consider it for polling or sports betting odds.
TCU has still never won a men’s basketball game in Morgantown since joining the Big 12. Despite being the conference’s best 3-point shooting team in terms of average makes per game, the other parts of their game are comparatively much more deficient.
A similar narrative applies to the Mountaineers’ next opponent. While West Virginia may not be as heavy of a favorite on the road Saturday, WVU could still have its reputation tarnished if it doesn’t win handily again.
Looking ahead to the Mountaineers’ game at Kansas State
West Virginia looks for its fourth conference win in Manhattan, Kansas on Saturday. The Wildcats appear underwhelming compared to WVU’s top 10 in defense and top 15 in rebounding squad.
Kansas State comes into this contest at 7-9 overall and winless in four Big 12 games. While the Wildcats have not been horrible on defense themselves, averaging allowing just 61.8 points per game, the Mountaineers should take advantage of a stark difference on the boards to control this contest.
West Virginia should be able to win this game by double digits even if Kansas State is successful in limiting its offense. While that may not be the case against Baylor, Kansas or Texas Tech, WVU doesn’t necessarily need to score to win this one.
Yet, another game in which the Mountaineers top 80 points may help West Virginia make a case for placement in the top 10 of next week’s polls. A narrow win in Manhattan, on the other hand, could erode confidence.
Another big win for the Mountaineers might encourage sportsbooks to widen spreads on future games as well. That should be enticing to bettors.
The 17th-ranked Mountaineer women are a perfect 3-0 in Big 12 play so far. Their résumé includes wins over 10th-ranked Mississippi State and 19th-ranked Michigan State.
The West Virginia women may be part of the action at sportsbooks come tournament time. Their counterparts on the men’s side are available to wager on now. If they post another 32-point win Saturday, those lines will move accordingly.