Last night the Las Vegas Classic gave us two games with two completely different themes: one went back and forth throughout while the other was mostly one-sided and was never really in doubt.
West Virginia was tied with Missouri State at halftime and the end of regulation but still pulled off a 70-68 victory in OT to give Bob Huggins career win No. 700. Baylor led by as many as 15 as they cruised past Saint Mary's in the second half 72-59.
Tonight it's a non-conference game but Baylor-West Virginia will be a fun matchup whenever the Mountaineers officially arrive in the Big 12. The preview is coming up.I can't quite put a finger on the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-2) this year. I watched their first home game against Kent State and saw WVU stumble out of the gate and lose by 10. Three weeks later they take Kansas State to double overtime and beat them in Wichita. Coach Bob Huggins is one of the best in America and I knew they would learn to play his way on a consistent basis.
I also know that the three holdovers from the Final Four team two years ago are playing to their potential. Kevin Jones is a 20 point scorer, Darryl "Truck" Bryant is a great number two (though his assist-to-turnover needs work) and Denis Kilicli is finally a reliable low-post presence. Outside of them, the rest of the team are basically freshmen, so a win tonight on a neutral court would boost confidence and sweeten up their résumé.
The Baylor Bears (11-0) have rolled through the season so far, winning each game by at least double digits. Their roster is so stacked that 11 players on the roster average ten minutes of playing time each night. They defend well, they're huge upfront and though West Virginia does have a chance, I don't see this Baylor train coming to a sudden stop. That means the Bears would go into a monstrous tilt with Mississippi State undefeated next Wednesday in Dallas.
Baylor-West Virginia is the first game from Vegas tonight and you can watch it live at 8pm central on ESPN.