NIT College Basketball - West Virginia vs. Mississippi State (-1½, 146) 7:00 PM ET
Both West Virginia and Mississippi State were extended the courtesy of playing all their NIT games at home and dutifully made it work for themselves in advancing to today’s first semi-final game.
The Mountaineers lost to Louisville in New York in double overtime during Big East tourney, probably costing them NCAA berth, instead they are returning to the scene of the crime in hopes of at least winning a prize that will fit nicely into the trophy cases in Morgantown.
Though not saying so publicly, word has leaked out about what some members of the West Virginia basketball community believing sketchy timekeeping was involved in loss to Cardinals, more specially the game tying basket. Instead of moping, Coach John Beilein put his team back to work and they responded with nice covers over Delaware State and Massachusetts and just missed covering the spread against a very good late season N.C. State team.
Coach Beilein understands the factual nature of this game against Mississippi State, "By the time we play again there are only going to be eight teams left playing in the country. That's pretty good and we're really pleased to be one of those eight."
Mississippi State is in the NIT semis for the first time ever and like all the teams still left, they were a number one seed in the new selection process for this event. The Bulldogs have man-handled their three opponents by an average 21 points a game. Mississippi State is 8-1 ATS after a win by 15 points or more this season.
Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury will have the more gifted athletic team on the floor, however this is nothing new for West Virginia who is a 1.5-point underdog at sportsbook.com.
The Mountaineers run unique offensive principles that force opponents to guard the three point line while keeping a wary eye on back door cuts and has them with dazzling 8-1 ATS record in a post-season tournament game over the last 3 seasons.
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