Big 12 Week 3 Preview: Texas Tech and Kansas

West Virginia Football: 3 ways to improve from 2017

WVU Hits Road For Texas Tech

In the first game between top-10 teams at Texas Tech, the No. 8 Red Raiders proved Saturday they more than belong in the Big 12 title conversation by beating No. 2 West Virginia 72-71.

Texas Tech hosted the program's first to-10 matchup in Lubbock. The two teams last met on February 18, 2017 when the Red Raiders lost 83-74 in double overtime.

The skinny: Guard Keenan Evans (17.3 points, 3.2 assists) leads a senior contingent that makes Texas Tech go, while 6-foot-5 freshmen Zaire Smith (10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds) and Jarrett Culver (10.2 points, 3.6 rebounds) have emerged quickly.

Given the circumstances, this was an especially huge win for Texas Tech. Sagaba Konate leads in rebounds with 7.5 while Carter tops in assists with 6.8 per game. Forwards Zach Smith and Justin Gray round out the starting five for the Red Raiders. The Mountaineers (15-2, 4-1) had a 15-game winning streak snapped. The starting center is junior Norense Odiase, and even though he starts he only sees about 14 minutes per game, Odiase is productive; averaging four points and six rebounds. The over/under total for this game is listed at 144 points.

West Virginia Football: 3 ways to improve from 2017

Texas Tech has the best scoring defense (60.2) and defensive field goal percentage (37.5), both are the best in the Big XII and fifth in the country.

The Mountaineers, however, get a key piece back for this one in junior forward Esa Ahmad. The public betting is backing West Virginia as well. King played over 30 minutes in each of the last two games, and on Wednesday pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Although the Red Raiders play a lot of guards, they struggle at times taking care of the ball. Their defense takes a slight step back, but not enough to think they can't win this game. Add in the most consistent offensive player Lamont West, the poise of Jevon Carter and the big plays of Daxter Miles Jr late in the games, I believe the Mountaineers pull away in the final minutes to win the game.

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