Cincinnati Bearcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Pick & Prediction MARCH 9th 2024

West Virginia will attempt to avoid setting a dubious school record when they visit Cincinnati on Saturday in the Big 12 season finale for both teams.

The Mountaineers (9-21, 4-13 Big 12) enter the contest with the Bearcats (17-13, 6-11) on a four-game losing streak following their 93-81 setback to TCU on Senior Night at Morgantown, W.Va., on Wednesday.

Since rallying from 10 points with under seven minutes remaining to defeat Cincinnati at home Jan. 31, West Virginia has dropped eight of nine to match the 2018-19 program record for most losses in a season (21). A loss Saturday would set a new record for futility.

The schools are linked by Bob Huggins, the West Virginia graduate who went onto coach the Bearcats for 16 seasons, highlighted by the 1992 Final Four appearance. The Naismith Hall of Famer then coached his alma mater for another 16 seasons before being dismissed prior to the start of this season.

West Virginia enters the game tied with Oklahoma State for last place in the Big 12.

In Wednesday’s loss to TCU, West Virginia’s Jesse Edwards dominated with 36 points and 13 rebounds, including a 15-for-19 performance from the field. West Virginia could not overcome a 23-point first-half deficit, trailing 53-38 at the half.

West Virginia has allowed at least 90 points four times in its last eight games.

“Our defense has been an issue all year long and I feel like people shoot the ball really well against us and I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” West Virginia interim head coach Josh Eilert said.

Cincinnati enters Saturday’s regular season finale coming off a missed opportunity Tuesday in a 74-71 overtime loss at Oklahoma. The Bearcats led the Sooners by 10 with 12 minutes left but couldn’t get the job done.

Jizzle James came off the bench to score 16, while senior John Newman III added 15 in the loss.

“The frustrating part is you have chances to get defensive stops and win the game, but I’m not disappointed in our guys’ fight,” Cincinnati coach Wes Miller said. “This one hurt, and there’s no doubt about it, but we’re gonna have to regroup and finish this regular season off at home on Saturday.”

The Bearcats will be hosting their own Senior Day, with four players being honored, including Newman and Ody Oguama.

–Field Level Media

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