WVU basketball: There should be no trouble beating the Racers

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 3: Teddy Allen
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 3: Teddy Allen /

The WVU basketball team has had lofty goals since Bob Huggins took over the program in 2007. They’ve fallen short almost every time.

The time is now to finally make these goals a reality and by the looks of things, there is no better opportunity to live out some dreams. The Mountaineers open the NCAA Tournament against Murray State.

The Racers seem to be a typical mid-major making noise at the right time. However, their success this season goes beyond that of just being a mid-major. At 13 games, the Racers hold the nation’s longest active winning streak.

Murray State is somewhat modeled after this year’s WVU basketball team. The Racers rely on their talented guards, much like the Mountaineers do. But the West Virginia guards are among the best in the country.

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Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter have been two of the hardest-working players in all of college basketball since joining the Mountaineers back in 2014. Their journey has seen ups and downs and their experience really is unmatched. Not only have Miles and Carter been scoring points strongly this postseason, they have been ramping up the defensive pressure.

These two guys know what needs to be done and they are leading by example. Murray State has not experienced a swarming defense quite like that of the Mountaineers. West Virginia should garner at least 20 turnovers and that will lead to a double-digit victory.

The Mountaineers are said to be a 10-point favorite, according to oddsshark.com. The site assumes that the over/under is 145 with many currently betting the under. That’s the safe bet assuming the West Virginia defense truly reaches its potential.

It goes beyond Carter and Miles, though. Sagaba Konate, Lamont West and Esa Ahmad have shown flashes of brilliance this season but all three haven’t been able to put it together at the same time. If they step up in the tournament, there is no reason why the WVU basketball team can’t reach the Final Four.

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But in order to get to the Final Four, a win is needed against Murray State, plus several other teams. A 78-65 win seems to be in the cards for the Mountaineers.