While the undefeated DePaul Blue Demons are taking the Big East Conference (and Big East Coast Bias) by storm, there’s still plenty of time to shine for the rest of them. That includes the St. John’s Red Storm, who’ll be locked in a battle with a familiar, former foe of theirs to start the day.
The 7-2 Red Storm, winners of their last three games and four of their last five, will welcome the West Virginia Mountaineers to New York City. The Mountaineers are set to face the Johnnies at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, for a Saturday matinee showdown. It’s the first time since January 25, 2012 that the Mountaineers will face the Johnnies at MSG, and on that day, the Red Storm picked the future Big East Player of the Year Kevin Jones and the Mountaineers apart, 78-62, thanks in large part to 23 points from Moe Harkless.
Now let’s shy away from this trip down memory lane and talk about the current state of affairs. As we mentioned, the Johnnies are 7-2. They’ve won their last three after being tripped up by the Arizona State Sun Devils. WVU can’t really relate. The Mountaineers are 7-0 through the first leg of the season. They’ve picked up five Top 100 KenPom wins over the likes of the Wichita State Shockers, Pittsburgh Panthers, Rhode Island Rams, Akron Zips and Northern Iowa Panthers. Their other wins aren’t so bad, as they defeated the Northern Colorado Bears, ranked 177th, and the Boston University Terriers, ranked 226th.
As is often the case with WVU teams, they’ll play pretty fast, and torture you defensively. Their ranks are all pretty good through the early goings, as Bob Huggins’ club looks strong yet again. They are led by three strong sophomores in Derek Culver, Brandon Knapper and Emmitt Matthews Jr., as well as senior Jermaine Haley and two freshmen in Oscar Tshiebwe and Miles McBride.
This will no doubt be St. John’s’ stiffest test yet. WVU is ranked 34th on KenPom and has been playing rather well this season. That being said they’ve played two of their last three games pretty close. They only beat the Panthers by five points and the Rams by five as well. They sandwiched a 12-point win over Wichita State in there, but there could be reason to believe that the game against the Johnnies will be a close one. The Mountaineers have won just three games against the spread this season and two of their losses ATS have come in those last two wins over UNI and URI.
I’m not so sure about the Johnnies beating WVU. Covering? That’s... probably more within range.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Spread: West Virginia -4
Moneyline: No ML available as of writing