West Virginia, though, is no rebounding slouch, ranking second in the Big East. Senior forward Kevin Jones leads the league in both scoring (20.1) and rebounding (11.6) and is fourth in the country in rebounding. Between the 6-8, 260-pound Jones and 6-9, 260-pound Deniz Kilicli, the Mountaineers have some muscle of their own.
Of course, in this series one of the keys is keeping that muscle - as well as everyone else - on the floor. A year ago each team was whistled for 32 fouls and shot 35 free throws in Marshall's 75-71 win. Two years before that the teams combined to shoot 68 free throws and the year before that 61.
Huggins hopes that's not the case again tonight.
"Obviously you have to call fouls,'' Huggins said. "You have to call fouls when fouls are there, but you don't have to take it to extremes. But go back and look at the tape [of last year's game]. There were a lot of fouls.
"You hope that if we foul a lot they call a lot of fouls on us, and if they foul a lot they call a lot of fouls on them. And you hope they don't, at the end of the day, look and try to make it even. Call the fouls that are there.''
No matter how the game is called, though, it is likely to be close. For one of the rare times in the series, the teams are both playing pretty well and ranked in the Top 35 of the RPI. But even when the teams don't seem to be close on paper they tend to play close games. Of the last 13, 11 have been decided by single digits and two went to overtime.
"It's hard [for either team to pull away] when you have that much emotion involved,'' Huggins said. "And, honestly, when there's so many fouls called in four years it's hard to get any flow.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.