NCAA Tournament: West Virginia vs. Murray State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, March 16
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
All You Really Need To Know About West Virginia (24-10)
(Big 12), RPI: 27. 5-seed
As always, it’s one of the hard-nosed teams in the tournament with an aggressive defense and toughness that makes it the team no one wants to deal with. There’s enough scoring pop from six different Mountaineers to spread the ball around, revolving around Jevon Carter and his 17 points per game.
Dangerous on the inside, helped by Sagaba Konate, they led the Big 12 in blocked shots, don’t turn the ball over, and try to steal everything, leading the nation in turnover margin. However, that aggressiveness gets them in trouble, committing a ton of fouls. They’re just okay on the defensive boards, and they don’t shoot well, but they bring the fight.
All You Really Need To Know About Murray State (26-5)
(Ohio Valley), RPI: 48. 12-seed
On a 13-game winning streak to close out the pre-tournament season, the Ohio Valley champs shoot – and make – lots and lots and lots of threes. There’s almost no height, but the Racers know how to bomb away with 264 threes on the season, with Jonathan Stark the main man who can put up points in bunches.
The lack of an inside presence is a problem – there aren’t enough blocked shots – but everyone crashes the glass, this is an active enough team to play solid D, and it’s good enough on the line to control games late. How for real is this team? It pushed Auburn hard in an 81-77 loss.
What’s Going To Happen
Murray State has the right makeup to handle the West Virginia defensive pressure – the Racers don’t buckle. They don’t turn the ball over when stressed, and they’re great from three.
Worst of all, they hit their free throws, and West Virginia fouls everyone.
The inside presence and rebounding will be enough to help the Mountaineers to move on, but they’re going to struggle – they’re going to miss too many shots to pull away.
Get ready for a whole lot of sweating on the Big 12 side – the Racers can D up, too, especially from three.
Fearless Prediction & Line
West Virginia 68, Murray State 63
Line: West Virginia -10, o/u: 146
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle