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Texas Longhorns @ West Virginia Mountaineers Basketball Preview

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Night gathers, and now my bubble watch begins.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

BUBBLEWATCHMAGEDDON 2015 is officially ON LIKE DONKEY KONG. After Texas dropped yet another Big 12 tilt, the Longhorns have now officially entered bubble watch territory. It's dark and full of terrors. Here's your friendly reminder that this team was once ranked 6th in the nation. And have gone 1-10 against RPI Top 50 teams.

But hey, lookit! That one win was against Texas' opponent tonight: the West Virginia Mountaineers. Good thing, too. Even if this game is a roadie, Texas has had recent historical success against Bob Huggins' bunch.

West Virginia is built similar to Texas. They have a really good point guard / big man combo in Juwan Staten and Devin Williams, then surround those two with a few fathoms of plus athletes that cannot shoot. The Mountaineers make their living offensively by crashing the glass and forcing the ball into the hoop with mind bullets. Defensively, West Virginia is suffocating, but not without sieves. The one key difference between Texas and West Virginia: the Longhorns make their living preventing you from taking good shots, while the Mountaineers turn you over before you can get that shot off at all.

Oh, the other key difference: West Virginia sports a healthy 21-6, 9-5 record, trending up after back-to-back wins against ranked opponents (vs. Kansas, @ OK State). The Mountaineers have a tough back-end (@ Baylor, @ Kansas, vs. OK State) and will surely be looking at this imploding Texas team as its easiest remaining potential victory.

Finally, the Mountaineers have a bench guy named BillyDee Williams. You can't make this stuff up.

Starters

PG - Juwan Staten (5' 11" 185 lb)

G - Gary Browne (6' 1", 195 lb)

G - Daxter Miles Jr (6' 3", 185 lb)

F - Jonathan Holton (6' 7", 220 lb)

C - Devin Williams (6' 9", 255 lb)

Key Reserves

Guards - Jevon Carter, Jaysean Paige, Tarik Phillip

Bigs - Nathan Adrian, Elijah Macon, BillyDee Williams

Keys to the Game

Texas needs a win. It pounded the Mountaineers in Austin. Take that recipe and add some tweakable improvements for sucessball. Throw in two dashes of whatever. Go for the power regulator in the north tower.

Or, you know, the NIT is a dance for sorta cool kids, too.

Gametime is 6pm on ESPN2. Hook 'em.