Last Tuesday, the Mountaineers ended a seven-game losing streak with an impressive win over Iowa State. With the win, WVU basketball keeps its post-season hopes alive, improving to 14-9 as they head into their match-up against Oklahoma State this Saturday. If the Mountaineers can defeat Oklahoma State for the second time this season, they may put themselves right back into the NCAA tournament conversation.
After starting the 2021-22 season 13-2, the Mountaineers quickly found themselves on the wrong side of a series of unfortunate events. West Virginia would promptly begin to fall from grace in the world of college basketball as their losing streak extended over a month.
After dropping seven-straight games, the Mountaineers finally managed to get themselves back into the win column with an impressive performance over Iowa State last Tuesday. Now that the Mountaineers have reasserted their winning ways, they will look to start a new streak, a winning streak.
Been there, done that
Before starting their seven-game losing streak, WVU basketball’s last win would be a ten-point victory over Oklahoma State in Morgantown. A month later, West Virginia will be looking to replicate that success.
On January 11th, West Virginia picked up their 13th win of the season with a 70-60 victory over the Cowboys. The Mountaineers would shoot 37.3 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from beyond the arc in the contest. WVU would also make 21 of their 22 free-throws (95.5 percent), which was indeed the difference-maker as Oklahoma shot a mere 60 percent from the line.
The Mountaineers will replicate their previous success against the Cowboys this weekend. Oklahoma State is 11-12 overall this season with a 4-7 conference record and a 7-5 record on their home floor.
Every game is essential, especially this one
The Mountaineers head into the game with a 14-9 record and sit firmly in 9th place (out of ten) in the Big 12. If West Virginia cannot get something going soon, they will miss the NCAA tournament entirely.
The Mountaineers dropped off the bubble in ESPN’s most recent Bracketology update. This means they are no longer in the March Madness picture; however, a series of wins could still change that.
Though WVU’s season will likely come down to their performance in the Big 12 Tournament, the Mountaineers still have a few regular-season games to prove themselves. Every game from here on out is essential to keeping the season alive, and a two-game win streak could be precisely what the Mountaineers need.
Of West Virginia’s next five games, at least three of them seem very winnable, though four are on the road. Here are the Mountaineers’ next five opponents and their records:
- At Oklahoma State (11-12)
- At Kansas State (12-11)
- No. 8 Kansas (19-4)
- At TCU (16-4)
- At Iowa State (16-8)
The bottom line
The bottom line for West Virginia basketball is simple: win or go home. After a 13-2 start, the Mountaineers gave themselves breathing room to lose a few games; however, WVU has used up their buffer space after losing seven straight.
The Mountaineers need to start their late-season rally right now, or it may never come, and there is no better way to kick it off than a second-straight win over a conference opponent this weekend.
The Mountaineers will face-off against Oklahoma State on February 12th at 2:00 PM (Eastern) on ESPN2. ESPN’s match-up predictor gives WVU basketball a 31.6 percent chance to defeat the Cowboys on the road this Saturday.