NCAA Men’s Basketball: West Virginia Mountaineers vs Oklahoma State Cowboys- Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 01/04/2021, 3:00 PM EST


NCAA Men’s Basketball action will continue when the #9 West Virginia Mountaineers take on the currently unranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.

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While the Cowboys may be unranked, they are a dangerous team led by freshman Cade Cunningham, who is expected to be a Top-3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Mountaineers head into this game with an 8-3 record. They dropped their last game in a surprising upset at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners. Their other losses came at the hands of the superior ranked Kansas Jayhawks and Gonzaga Bulldogs.

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The OSU Cowboys sprung a big win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in their last outing. However, they have fallen to teams like the Texas Longhorns and the TCU Horned Frogs.

Can the Cowboys pull off another big win to get them into the AP Top-25 Poll and a boost in the Big 12 Conference?

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NCAA Men’s Basketball: Can the Mountaineers hold of Cade and the Cowboys?

Normally, the Mountaineers would be easy picks here. However, the fact that they dropped their last game while the Cowboys upset ranked opposition is a worrying trend.

Along with that, the Mountaineers will be without Oscar Tshiebwe, who stepped away from college basketball due to personal reasons.

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Dec 22, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Miles McBride (4) shoots over Kansas Jayhawks guard Marcus Garrett (0) during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

These are two solid defensive teams. However, they also have the ability to go out and score in bunches. Controlling Cade will be the main task for the Mountaineers. If Cade functions, the Cowboys are that much more dangerous. He is a versatile combo guard that impacts the game in a major way.

The Mountaineers are expected to start with Sean McNeil, Miles McBride, Emmitt Matthews Jr., Jalen Bridges, and Derek Culver. The Cowboys will take the floor with Cade Cunningham, Avery Anderson III, Isaac Likekele, Bryce Williams, and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe.

For our prediction, we are picking the underdogs, the Cowboys. They will play at home against a rattled Mountaineers squad. While the Mountaineers could easily win this, the upset seems like a looming threat.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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