No. 4 Texas vs No. 14 West Virginia

No. 4 Texas vs No. 14 West Virginia | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 8, 2021

The lone ranked matchup on a busy day of college basketball on Saturday is from the Big 12 as No. 4 and surprising Texas visits No. 14 West Virginia. The Mountaineers likely will be short favorites on the NCAAB odds as they are so tough to beat at home.

How to Bet Texas at West Virginia NCAA Basketball Odds & TV InfoLast Meeting

The schools split last year, each winning at home. The one at West Virginia was a blowout 97-59 victory for the Mountaineers. Oscar Tshiebwe had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Derek Culver scored 13 points. Both were on this year’s team but Tshiebwe has since left and will transfer. Jermaine Haley added 12 points and Jordan McCabe scored 10 for the Mountaineers. WVU used a lopsided advantage in free throws during a 20-0 run that gave them a 43-15 lead 2 minutes before halftime. The Longhorns were held to 36% shooting for the game.

Texas leads the all-time series 12-9.

Why Bet on Texas?

The Horns (9-1) won their fifth in a row Tuesday, 78-72 over Iowa State. Andrew Jones‘ driving baseline layup with 2:40 to play gave Texas a 72-63 cushion. The Cyclones got within 75-70 when Javan Johnson converted a three-point play with 28 seconds left, but the Longhorns closed it out from the free-throw line.

Brown, a junior, had a career-high 23 points. He attempted a career-best 10-of-20 field goals and added six rebounds and four assists in a season-high 37 minutes. Freshman forward Greg Brown posted 15 points (6-10 FG, 3-4 threes) and eight rebounds, while senior guard Matt Coleman III tallied 13 points, five boards and four assists.

Senior forward Jericho Sims recorded 10 points (4-5 FG) and eight rebounds, and junior guard Courtney Ramey added 10 points. Sophomore forward Kai Jones pulled down a career-high nine rebounds.

The Longhorns registered a 43-31 rebound margin, including a 13-4 edge on the offensive glass. UT improved to 8-0 when outrebounding its opponent this year. Texas recorded a 13-5 advantage in second-chance points. UT set a team season low in turnovers (8), previous: 9 vs. Davidson (Nov. 30)

Texas improved to 3-0 in Big 12 Conference play for the first time since the 2010-11 season (started league play with an 11-0 mark that year). Jones enters Saturday’s game just 10 points shy of becoming the 39th player in UT program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. He has 990 points in 85 career contests (11.6 ppg).

Coleman III boasts an impressive 2.71 assist-to-turnover ratio (46-17) this year. In his first three Big 12 contests, he has recorded a team-high 14 assists against just 3 turnovers. Sims has averaged 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per contest while converting 9-of-11 (.818) field goals over the last two games.

Why Bet on West Virginia?

WVU (9-3) won at Oklahoma State on Monday 87-84. Oklahoma State led by 10 at halftime and increased its advantage to 68-49 when Rondel Walker knocked down two free throws with 11:15 remaining. But the Mountaineers responded with a stunning 18-3 run over the next four minutes to get back into the game.

With the Mountaineers ahead 83-81, OSU freshman star Cade Cunningham drove to the basket with a chance to tie it but was called for charging, his fifth foul, with 31.1 seconds remaining.

WVU’s Derek Culver rebounded from his poorest performance of the season in the previous game at Oklahoma to have his best game of the year with 22 points and 19 rebounds. Culver was 10-of-19 from the floor and grabbed seven of his 19 boards on the offensive glass.

Sixty-three of West Virginia’s 87 points came from Culver, Deuce McBride (21) and Taz Sherman (20), but Coach Huggins thought the play of reserve guard Kedrian Johnson had the biggest impact in West Virginia’s comeback win.  Huggins said Johnson was able to put more ball pressure on Oklahoma State’s guards on the defensive end of the floor, and offensively, he took over some of the ballhandling responsibilities from McBride which enabled him to score off the ball.

West Virginia shot just 41.4% compared to Oklahoma State’s 47%, but the Mountaineers cleaned up on the glass with 22 offensive rebounds and 36 points in the paint.

Huggins earned his 300th win at West Virginia, second in school history to the 439 games Gale Catlett won from 1979-2002. Huggins is one victory behind North Carolina coach Roy Williams (891) for fifth on the Division I career list. In 39 years as a head coach, Huggins is 890-375 overall.

Expert Prediction
  • West Virginia 70, Texas 68
 
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