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Five Things to Know Before WVU vs. Marquette

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Before the semi-final round the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic between West Virginia and Marquette, here are five things to know before the tip-off in South Carolina.

Huggins Could Move Into Sole Possession of Fourth All-time

After defeating Elon, Huggins moved into fourth on the all-time wins list, passing Bobby Knight and tying Roy Williams.

Now, Huggins can move Williams out of the spot with him with a win tonight.

“I’m not going to quit until I beat Roy in something,” Huggins joked on Thursday.

Now, Huggins will get that chance to officially pass Roy and take sole possession of the fourth winningest coach of all-time.

Meet the Opponent

Marquette.

A lot of familiarity with this team from the Big East days.

First-year coach is Shaka Smart, former Texas coach.

Smart so far has won over the Golden Eagles, with a 4-0 start, including a win over No. 10 Illinois on Monday. Marquette defeated Ole Miss 78-72 on Thursday night to have a date with West Virginia.

The Golden Eagles are led by transfer Darryl Morsell, who played his previous four years at Maryland. The guard has been known for defense but he has taken a leap in points per game early-on. Morsell averages 22.5 points on 57 percent shooting.

Forward Justin Lewis is another to-go guy for Marquette. Lewis averages 18.0 points and 8.8 rebounds. The Mountaineers are going to have to box-out Lewis or they will be exposed on the boards once again this season.

West Virginia is going to have to avoid fouling the Golden Eagles, as they’re one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the country. MU has gotten to the line 27 times per game, making 20 free-throws per game.

WVU Gets It’s First Real Test to Build Resume

Oakland was a good test.

Pitt was a fun rivalry test. Elon was an interesting test. But none of these games are real tests. Oakland and Elon have a shot at winning their mid-major conferences, and Pitt is Pitt. But this game against Marquette gives the Mountaineers a great chance to build up their resume early for March. The Golden Eagles seem like they’re going to be in the middle of the Big East run here in a few  months. With them defeating Illinois, they have a shot at making an at-large tournament appearance.

This win for WVU would be great to look back on in a few months, as they could potentially have a victory over a at-large NCAA Tournament team, on a neutral court.

Betting Lines

West Virginia is favored by -5 points against Marquette.

The WVU money line is set at -205.

How to Watch and Listen

You can watch West Virginia take on Marquette on Friday, at 7 p.m., on ESPN2. The second round match-up will be in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mountaineer Sports Network will broadcast the game on the radio, with Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs once again calling WVU games for the entirety of this season.

(Top Photo: Kelsie LeRose – WVSN)

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year with Blue Gold Sports — an USA Today credentialed outlet. He is from Cincinnati, OH.

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