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6 things to know about West Virginia Mountaineers

Here are six things you need to know before Kentucky faces West Virginia.

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Christian Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

1. Bob Huggins Is Coming for Blood

The last time we played West Virginia was in 2015 where we slaughtered the Mountaineers 78-39. This was during March Madness with 5 seed WVU saying they were going to beat the 1 seed Wildcats UK. Kentucky players didn’t take kindly to that and it showed on the scoreboard. UK was a much better defensive and offensive team that season going undefeated until losing in the Final Four. Coach Bob Huggins said after the loss that “That’s the best defensive team I think that I’ve ever coached against.” This year his defense is the one to beat.

2. Press Virginia

KenPom has WVU rated as a top 10 defensive team and their play backs it up. The Mountaineers held Steph Curry Jr. (Trae Young) to his worst offensive rating of the season in their big win against Oklahoma. Their ability to force turnovers is unmatched. They force teams to turn the ball over on 23 percent of their possessions. If this young Kentucky team can’t take care of the ball it may get ugly quick.

3. Kentucky does well against great defenses with subpar offenses

The Wildcats have a good history when it comes to playing teams that have all of their power on the defensive side of the ball. Since John Calipari took over the team they’ve been able to work around defensive juggernauts with ease. From the 2009-10 season to present day the Cats are 16-4 against opponents with a top 10 KenPom rated defense, but an offensive efficiency falling outside of the top 25.

4. West Virginia’s Offense isn’t that great

WVU has lost three of their last four games and it hasn’t been pretty on the offensive end. Their loss to Texas Tech. was by 1 point after leading in the game. Another loss was a home game to Kansas in which they were leading by 13 at the half. Then the most recent was on Monday when an unranked TCU team upset them 82-73 holding WVU to just 33% from the floor.

5. Mountaineers Need a W

West Virginia started the season off at an astounding 15-1 and were ranked at #2. Currently ranked 7th the Coach Huggins’ team is in dire need of a win. They’ve lost three of their last four, and the team can’t afford to lose another if they want to stay in the top 10. Kentucky however, is currently unranked and deservedly so. If the Wildcats can pull out a win it’ll be huge for their run in March.

6. Coach’s Cal and Huggins are Friends?

Kentucky coach John Calipari and West Virginia coach Bob Huggins have been friends for quite some time. Huggins was the one who found out first between the two that they would play this season before March. He called his friend John to tell him the new and was answered with “Can we get that changed?”. No matter how close the two are one of them will have to walk away a loser. It’s hard playing against a longtime friend, but both teams know that neither coach will hold back during the game no matter the circumstance.