Game Preview: #10 Virginia faces #14 West Virginia in NYC
The clash of styles comes with Virginia’s more deliberate pace (348th in tempo, at 64.1 possessions per game, among the 351 D-1 teams, according to KenPom.com) to WVU’s more frenetic (74.8 possessions per game, 23rd nationally).
The Mountaineers are 10th nationally in scoring (88.4 points per game). UVA scores 77.1 points per game, up significantly from its 65.4 points per game output in 2014-2015, and the Cavs are seventh nationally in adjusted offense (1.154 points per possession, according to KenPom.com).
Virginia hangs its hat on the defensive end, ranking sixth nationally, allowing 57,5 points per game, but the ‘Neers are a tick ahead of the ‘Hoos in the KenPom.com defense efficiency ratings (WVU is seventh nationally, allowing .911 points per possession, UVA is 10th, allowing .915 points per possession).
WVU leads the nation in forcing 23.4 opponent turnovers per game. Virginia commits 7.4 turnovers per game, lowest in D1.
Game Notes: Virginia vs. West Virginia
UVA in MSG: The recent vintage ‘Hoos are 0-1 in the World’s Most Famous Arena, losing in the Sweet 16 in 2014 to Michigan State (shudder the mention of Sparty).
WVU player to watch: Forward Devin Williams is a beast in the post (18.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 63.0%FG)
Bombardiers: West Virginia shoots lots of threes (17.6 per game), and misses a lot (28.5 percent, 310th in the nation). If only the Mountaineers would focus more on getting the ball in the paint (WVU shoots 56.8 percent on two-point shots, 20th nationally).
– Preview by Chris Graham