Texas Tech basketball at West Virginia: How to watch, game notes, prediction

Here's all you need to know to get ready for the Texas Tech basketball team's road game at West Virginia on Saturday.

Texas v Texas Tech
Texas v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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Saturday's road tilt with West Virginia isn't a must-win game for the Texas Tech basketball team but it sure feels critical that the Red Raiders pick up a win in Morgantown. That's because Tech is reeling having lost three of its last four games including Tuesday's embarrassing blowout at the hands of Texas.

This will be the first time Tech and the Mountaineers have crossed paths this year so many Red Raiders may not have paid much attention to what's gone on in Morgantown this season, especially given that WVU has not been a factor in the Big 12 race.

Thus far, under interim head coach Josh Eilert, the Mountaineers are just 9-19 overall and 4-11 in Big 12 play. That puts them in a tie for last place with Oklahoma State.

WVU has lost six of its last seven games and eight of its last ten. However, the Mountaineers have shown some fight this season.

In their previous game, they erased a 25-point deficit against Kansas State to force overtime before falling 94-90 in Manhattan, Kansas. What's more, in the game before that, they played No. 6 Iowa State tough on the road in a 71-64 loss.

Of course, this weekend, they'll be at home against the Red Raiders. Already this year, WVU has beaten Kansas, UCF, Cincinnati, and Texas in Morgantown to account for all of their conference wins.

Thus, the Red Raiders will have their hands full in this game regardless of whether or not they are at full strength. But if the Red Raiders want to put an end to any worries of sliding onto the NCAA Tournament bubble, they had better figure out a way to get back on the winning track.

Texas Tech at West Virginia: How to watch

Matchup: Texas Tech (19-9, 8-7) at West Virginia (9-19, 4-11)
Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
Venue: WVU Coliseum
Tip: 5 p.m. (CST), Saturday, March 2, 2024
TV: ESPN2
TV CALL: Joel Godett (play-by-play), King McClure (analyst)
RADIO (Texas Tech Sports Network): 97.3 Double T FM
RADIO CALL: Geoff Haxton (play-by-play), Chris Level (analyst)

Texas Tech at West Virginia: Game Notes

(All game notes courtesy of TexasTech.com)

West Virginia leads the all-time series by an 18-9 margin, including taking two of three matchups last season. The Red Raiders are 3-8 all-time at the WVU Coliseum but did earn a 78-72 in Morgantown last season in a game where Isaacs played as a reserve but came off the bench to score 15 points with three 3-pointers.

Through three games against WVU, Isaacs is averaging 10.6 points per game after also having two in the first time he played them in a 76-61 loss in Lubbock last season.

As a program, Texas Tech was 0-6 in Morgantown before earning its first road win there with a 62-59 victory on January 2, 2019. The program has won in Morgantown the past two seasons. WVU won the first-ever matchup with a 65-60 win in the 2005 NCAA Tournament – a Sweet 16 game in Albuquerque, New Mexico before the teams became Big 12 foes in 2013.

Tech went 3-5 in February, highlighted by a 79-50 win over Kansas but ending with losses at UCF and then the Longhorns… The Red Raiders were 6-2 in January, 5-0 in December, and 5-2 in November

Texas Tech at West Virginia: Prediction

If you are looking for a reason to fear the last-place Mountaineers, look to the post where 6-foot-11, 240-pound Jesse Edwards is averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. In his last eight games, he's scored in double digits six times including a big 25-point game against Cincinnati and a 21-point showing against Baylor, two teams with long, athletic rim protectors in the paint.

If Warren Washington is unable to play again or if he plays but is not his normal self, Edwards could be a problem for the Red Raiders. Teams are starting to pick on the smaller Red Raider backup bigs and WVU will certainly try to do the same if Washington is out.

Now, if you are looking for reasons to be confident in the Red Raiders, look to the Big 12 stats. When you do, you'll see that WVU is last in the conference in points allowed at 75.1 per game. Meanwhile, they are 13th in the league in 3-point field goal defense allowing teams to shoot 34.1% from deep.

Also, the Mountaineers are last in scoring at just 69.3 points per game. What's more, WVU isn't good on the glass ranking last in the conference in rebounding margin at -1.64 rebounds per game (they are the only team in the Big 12 that has a negative rebounding margin for the season).

In other words, WVU is a bad team. There's a reason they've won only four games this year. They just aren't good at many critical aspects of the game.

Texas Tech should enter this game as the more desperate team. Tech has everything to play for in terms of an NCAA Tournament birth while WVU's only motivation is to be a spoiler. If Tech doesn't play harder and with more intensity than the Mountaineers, especially after the dud of a showing on Tuesday against Texas, then I'll be shocked.

That's why I think Texas Tech will win this game. The Mountaineers have nothing to play for and are a poor defensive team and that could allow Pop Isaacs to get back on track offensively and that's what I think happens Saturday afternoon.

Final score: Texas Tech 81 - West Virginia 73

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