Morgantown, West Virginia – When the #9 ranked Mountaineers, 7-2 and 1-1 in the Big 12 Conference, welcome the 1-4 Northeastern Huskies to the WVU Coliseum today, it should be a massive blowout.
It’s time for West Virginia basketball to stop playing today down to their level of opponent and really destroy a team, and today’s opponent is the absolutely perfect victim.
So far this season, the Mountaineers have struggled against lower-level competition (80-71 win over an average Georgetown team on the road, a 62-50 struggle-fest against a really bad North Texas team at home, barely beating the worst team in the Big 12 Conference, the Iowa State Cyclones, 70-65) and have shown in flashes that they are capable of competing against any team in the country.
West Virginia out-played the #1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs for most of the game and should have beaten the #3 ranked Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence.
Today’s game is an opportunity to show that the Mountaineers can play at the same high level regardless of the competition.
The basement-dweller of the Colonial Athletic Conference, Northeastern has stayed close in most of their games this season and likely feel that they can do the same against the Mountaineers. The Huskies have lost their last three games at Syracuse (62-56), Old Dominion (66-62) and Georgia (76-58), so playing inside the WVU Coliseum without fans won’t scare Northeastern at all.
Barely squeaking by an average team at home again won’t provide the Mountaineers the much-needed confidence going into the new year. West Virginia needs to play a full game with tremendous effort and few mistakes. In other words, the Mountaineers need to put their foot on Northeastern’s throat and end them early.
While this game won’t be remembered in March, this is an opportunity for West Virginia to no longer allow weak teams to hang around until the end of the game. Instead, it’s time for West Virginia to put together a complete performance and win by 50 points like they should.