The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

February 8, 2010

WVU ready for monster matchup

Mountaineers host No. 2 Villanova

MORGANTOWN — Big Monday comes to little Morgantown tonight.

It’s a classic showdown, if there is such a thing in regular-season basketball, a Villanova team that is trying to bounce back from an ugly defeat, its second of the year and one that is sure to do away with its No. 2 national ranking, against a West Virginia University team that is starting to look like Destiny’s Darlings, if any team coached by rough, tough Bob Huggins can be the darling of anything.

These were the two top preseason picks in the Big East, Villanova selected to win the conference, and neither team has disappointed, although in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, Villanova’s 103-90 loss at Georgetown is not the prettiest girl at the dance.

“My concern is that defensively, we were terrible to start the game,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said after the game. “Offensively, we turned the ball over 16 times in the first half, and you can’t start a game like that.”

And it won’t get any easier in the Coliseum during a gold rush with a sold-out crowd that may not worry too much about threats from the administration about repercussions from another obscene performance after the embarrassment of the Pitt debacle.

Even before they worry about the crowd, the Wildcats and Wright have got something far more menacing to worry about and that is the huge shadow being cast by WVU’s Da’Sean Butler.

A year ago at this time Villanova came to Morgantown ranked No. 13 in the country, and brought everything with them but a game plan to stop Butler, who went off on a career high 43 points.

“Everyone has one team they play good against,” Butler said.

It was the third most points ever scored by a player in the Coliseum, Notre Dame’s Austin Carr having hit for 47 in 1971 and in that same year the Mountaineers’ Wil Robinson scoring 45 against Penn State.

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Bob Herzel
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