Can WVU make the Big 12 Finals?
MORGANTOWN, WV—-I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the West Virginia Mountaineers are going to reach the semifinals and possibly the finals in the Big 12 tournament! Why you may ask? It’s a force called “momentum!”
The Mountaineers have caught fire of late making shots which is a key to winning in tournaments. For instance, Erik Stevenson has the momentum with five consecutive games of scoring 23 points. Plus, Stevenson had 27 points in Saturday’s win over K-State.
Also the recent surge of Emmitt Matthews Jr. is very positive. Matthews is averaging 13.6 points per game over the last 8 games. Plus he has shot 43 of 80 (54 percent) from the field.
Hall of Fame Coach Bob Huggins is no stranger to pressure games. He will have his men ready. I know Texas Tech won’t be easy but WVU will beat them then no doubt go on to face Kansas. Here is where I feel why WVU will beat the Jayhawks:
Kansas is somewhat vulnerable this year. The Jayhawks had a rare three game losing streak during the season. They fell to TCU, Baylor and Kansas State. The loss to TCU was by 23 points and it was on the Jayhawk home court! Looking at the Jayhawk three loss statistics they shot a combined 31 of 114 (27 percent) from 3 point range. They also averaged 15 turnovers per game.
In Kansas’ two victories this season over the Mountaineers they shot 21 of 44 (47 percent) from three point range. Think about it! That was the difference. Also WVU forced 32 turnovers in those two games.
If the Mountaineer defense can limit Kansas from making those three pointers they certainly have a chance to make the semifinals. At any rate, the Mountaineer momentum may be the big difference in winning not losing.
I think the hard play of Matthews,Stevenson, Kedrian Johnson,Joe Toussaint, Tre Mitchell and Jimmy Bell Jr. will carry this team far into the Big 12 tourney and into March Madness!
Let’s be positive for this late season surge and hope it continues!