West Virginia's version of rivalry week will continue on Saturday when the Virginia Tech Hokies travel to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers.
This will be the first game between these two since Virginia Tech left the Big East for the ACC in 2004. The Hokies have won three of the last four games in the series, but these games always seem to go down to the wire. Seven of the last eight games have been decided by four points or less.
West Virginia is coming off an emotional win against another rival. The Mountaineers beat Marshall in Charleston on Wednesday night. After some extra-curricular activities and a few ejections, there were some concerns about whether those players ejected would be able to play against Virginia Tech, but Bob Huggins was assured that they'd be eligible.
The Mountaineers will need all of those players when they go up against the undefeated Hokies. Virginia Tech sits at 7-0 on the year and is third in the country in scoring (86.1 points per game). Erick Green, the team's leading scorer, is second in the country with 24.9 points per game. He has scored at least 21 points in every game so far this season.
Jarell Eddie (17.1) and Robert Brown (13.4) also average double digits in points. Eddie also leads the team in rebounding with 7.4 per game, while Cadarian Raines pulls in seven per game.
The Hokies are coming off their best win of the year, beating a ranked Oklahoma State team last Saturday. They trailed at halftime of that game, but came back to win behind Green's 28 points.
Scoring hasn't come quite as easily for West Virginia. The Mountaineers are scoring 71.1 points per game, but are also playing some pretty good defense. Only two teams have reached 70 against the team so far.
Deniz Kilicli leads all players with 11.3 points per game, while he also earns 6.2 rebounds. Juwan Staten is the only other player to score in double digits with 11 points per game.
One issue that had been popping up for West Virginia was that Kilicli and Aaric Murray were having trouble staying out of foul trouble. They both reached four fouls against Marshall again, but they also reached season highs in minutes played. They've got to stay on the court for the Mountaineers when the team starts playing better opponents like the Hokies.
West Virginia will also have big man Volodymyr Gerun for the first time this season. He was able to play in the exhibition against Glenville State, but due to a suspension for playing on a professional team in Ukraine, he had to miss the team's first six regular season games.
Apparently, the fans are excited to see the series renewed. The game has been sold out, so the teams should be playing in front of a good crowd.
This will be the 76th meeting between the two, and West Virginia holds a 46-29 lead in the series. The Mountaineers are also 25-10 at home against the Hokies.
Saturday's game will be played at 4 pm and will be televised on ESPN2.