The West Virginia Mountaineers get a brief breather in their daunting Big 12 schedule, as they take their number 10 ranking into Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Tuesday evening. This will be the first time in three weeks that the Mountaineers have played a non-ranked opponent. West Virginia defeated the then-12th ranked Texas Longhorns on Saturday by a score of 84-82. TCU is coming off a 62-54 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday.
West Virginia is 11-10 this season against the spread, while the total has gone over in 15 of their 21 games. The Mountaineers covered the spread in their last game, as they were a 2.5-point underdog in their two-point win over Texas. TCU is 7-12-1 against the spread, while the over-under is 10-10 this season. The Horned Frogs have failed to cover the spread in each of their last three games. They were a seven-point favorite in their loss to Kansas State.
Mountaineers erase 19-point deficit for upset winThe West Virginia Mountaineers gave up 53 points in the first half, as they fell behind by 10 points at the break. Less than two minutes into the second half, and three Texas three-pointers later, West Virginia’s deficit had climbed to a seemingly insurmountable 19 points. Head coach Bob Huggins, who has never shied away from speaking his mind, had some choice words for his team, and they clearly responded.
“You wouldn't want to print what was said,” the Mountaineers coach said on espn.com.
West Virginia took control over the last 18 minutes and two seconds, as they outscored the Longhorns 41-20 the rest of the way. The Mountaineers won the game mainly at the foul line, as they were 26-37 from the charity stripe, as opposed to just 4-10 for Texas. West Virginia shot 44.4% from the floor and 47.6% from three-point range. Five players scored in double figures for the Mountaineers, as they were led by Miles McBride with 17 points and Sean McNeil with 16 points (all in the second half). Emmitt Matthews, Jr., Derek Culver, and Taz Sherman added 14 points apiece in the win.
The Big 12 is loaded this season, as just about every game is a battle. West Virginia has played four straight games against ranked opponents, going 3-1 in those games. Their only loss in the month of February was a one-point, double overtime loss to the Oklahoma Sooners on February 13. The Mountaineers are 5-4 against ranked opponents this season, and they have an upcoming battle against the Baylor Bears on Thursday. West Virginia is currently 15th in the NET rankings, and, with no losses outside of Quad I, they could sneak into a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament (especially if they can knock off second-ranked Baylor).
McBride leads the Mountaineers in scoring this season, as he is averaging 16.2 points per game this season, while Culver averages a double-double with 15.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Sherman and McNeil add 12.7 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. West Virginia is averaging 77.8 points per game this season, while they are shooting 43.2% from the floor and 37.4% from three-point range. Defensively, the Mountaineers are giving up 72.4 points per game, as their opponents are shooting 43.9% from the floor and 32.6% from three-point range.
Horned Frogs upset by Kansas StateFor the fifth time in their last eight games, the TCU Horned Frogs scored 55 points or less, as their loss to Kansas State was their seventh loss in the last nine games. TCU has lost those seven games by an average of 17.4 points per game, while their only two wins in the last nine games have been by three points over Oklahoma State and Iowa State. The Horned Frogs are 0-5 against ranked opponents this season, losing by an average of 14.8 points per game in those five games.
In their loss to Kansas State, TCU scored less than 30 points in each half. The game was close throughout, as neither team led by more than eight points, while the game was tied at 29-29 at halftime. The Horned Frogs shot just 31.9% from the floor and 22.2% from three-point range. TCU made 15 shots from the floor and 20 shots from the foul line, as they were 20-23 from the line. RJ Nembhard led the way with 14 points, while Mike Miles chipped in with 13 points in the loss.
Nembhard and Miles are the only players who average in double figures for the Horned Frogs this season, as they average 16.8 and 14.5 points per game, respectively. TCU is averaging just 68.3 points per game this season, while they are shooting 44.2% from the floor and 34.5% from three-point range. They are giving up 70.7 points per game, and their opponents are shooting 44.4% from the floor and 32.2% from three-point range.