In sum, West Virginia will probably enter the game as a 4-point favorite. But the view from here is Marshall should have the advantage. WVU has the clear advantage in the frontcourt, but Marshall is better in the backcourt.
Go ahead and give the Mountaineers the coaching advantage. (Will Huggins allow his team to lose consecutive games to Marshall?) But perhaps more important is the Thundering Herd's advantage in depth.
Off the bench, WVU's Gary Browne has been very impressive at times. Aaron Brown has shown flashes. But MU can counter with a convoy of talented reserves: Dago Pena, Justin Coleman, 6-10 Nigel Spikes and 6-8 Jamir Hanner. Then there's that 7-2 Yous Mbao guy.
WVU was the favorite last season and MU won. Despite the odds, Marshall should be the favorite this season and West Virginia can win. The Mountaineers have the edge in the frontcourt and coaching; the Herd in the backcourt and bench.
In the end, though, this might boil down to a rebounding battle. Both teams crash the glass. The winner will take all.
This season, expect that winner to be Marshall. The call: 73-68.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.