West Virginia is entering its final week of the regular season, and does so arguably playing its worst basketball of the year.
The Mountaineers (13-16, 6-10) have lost four consecutive games, their longest streak under Bob Huggins, and have a road game against Oklahoma (19-9, 10-6) coming up next.
This will be their third crack at beating the Sooners, but only the second time in conference play. The two met back in November as part of the Old Spice Classic, but it was considered a non-conference game. Oklahoma won that one, 77-70. Then, in West Virginia's inaugural Big 12 game, the Sooners mounted a second-half comeback to win again, this time 67-57.
In fact, Bob Huggins is 0-3 against Oklahoma while at West Virginia. WVU's only win against the Sooners came back in 2005.
The Sooners have been playing pretty well as of late, too. They've won five of their last seven games, and both losses in that span came against rivals in overtime. First, Oklahoma State beat them, 84-79, then Texas erased a 22-point lead in the final eight minutes to send the game to overtime and beat Oklahoma, 92-86. The Sooners also have the benefit of playing West Virginia and TCU in their last two games.
Romero Osby is fourth in the Big 12 and leads the team in scoring with 15.2 points per game. He also leads the team with 7.1 rebounds. The last time these teams met, he led all players in both categories, accumulating 21 points and nine rebounds. Steven Pledger and Amath M'Baye add 11.9 and 10.6 points, respectively.
West Virginia's leading scorer, Eron Harris, would rank fourth among Oklahoma scorers with 9.4 points. He is part of a West Virginia offense that has been fighting with inconsistency since the first game of the season. In the team's last game, a blowout loss at the hands of Kansas, Terry Henderson came through with 20 points. He also had a big game the last time Oklahoma and West Virginia met, matching Osby with 21 points.
All of the missed shots by the Mountaineers have generated plenty of chances for offensive rebounds, and the team has been taking advantage of those opportunities. WVU leads the Big 12 in that category, though the team is just eighth in the conference in defensive rebounds.
Oklahoma made headlines on Saturday with a ridiculous effort from the free throw line. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in free throw percentage, but against Iowa State, they knocked down 34 of 34 foul shots, tying an NCAA record for most made without a miss. It's the only category in which the team ranks first in the conference, but Oklahoma also doesn't find itself toward the bottom of many categories.
It's going to be another challenge for West Virginia. Of course, it's been a season full of challenges.
Wednesday's game will tip at 9 pm and can be seen on ESPN2.