2018 NCAA Tournament: West Virginia-Murray State, time, TV channel, watch online (March 16, 2018)

West Virginia will meet Murray State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 16. Find the game time, location and television information below.

West Virginia (24-10) finished third in the Big 12 and second in the conference’s tournament. Murray State (26-5) won the Ohio Valley regular-season and conference championship.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game.

West Virginia vs. Murray State: Game time, details

No. 5 seed West Virginia meets No. 12 seed Murray State at 4 p.m. ET , Friday, March  16, at the Viejas Arena in San Diego.

What TV channel is West Virginia vs. Murray State on?

The game between West Virginia and Murray State will be televised on TNT. Carter Blackburn will be the play-by-play announcer. Debbie Antonelli and John Schriffen will provide commentary.

How can I watch West Virginia vs. Murray State online?

You can stream West Virginia vs. Murray State online using NCAA March Madness Live.

How can I listen to West Virginia vs. Murray State on the radio?

Fans in Morgantown can listen to the game on WZST-FM 100.9, in Charleston on WMXE-FM 100.9 and in Wheeling on WBBD AM 1400 along with more than 30 affiliates of the Mountaineer State Network across the state. To find a full list of West Virginia basketball affiliates, go here. A free streaming listening experience is available at the Mountaineers’ Tune-In App.

West Virginia-Murray State: Previews, keys to the game

West Virginia enters the NCAA Tournament after a strong effort in the Big 12 Tournament. The Mountainers coughed up another big second-half lead against Kansas for a third time this season as they fell in the championship game to the Jayhawks. Kansas blistered West Virginia for 72 percent shooting from the field in the loss. It was the Mountaineers’ third straight loss in the Big 12 title game.

But this West Virginia team is one of Coach Bob Huggins’ better teams. After losing its first game of the season to  Texas A&M in Ramstein, Germany, West Virginia ran off a 15-game winning streak that catapulted them to No. 2 in the nation. It was the Mountaineers’ highest ranking in the Associated Press poll since 1960.

The Mountaineers finished strongly in the Big 12, winning eight of their last 11 games before  falling to Kansas in the title game on Saturday.

“Press Virginia” excels vs. unsuspecting defenses

Their “Press Virginia” philosophy typically provides much success in the NCAA Tournament because of the unfamiliarity that most opponents have with the aggressive pressing defense.

The key for the Mountaineers will be big games from senior guards Jevon Carter and Dax Miles Jr.  Both are fearsome defenders and have their moments as streaky perimeter shooters.

Junior center Sagaba Konate also needs to be engaged and out of foul trouble to provide the defense with a rim protector at its back end. He’s the nation’s second-best shot blocker by percentage and also the nation’s fourth best in offensive rebounding statistics.

For Murray State to be successful, they must drive and attack West Virginia from the start of the game. West Virginia ranks 348th nationally in fewest fouls and commits more fouls per game than any team in the tournament other than Stephen F. Austin.

The Racers enter the tournament with a 13-game winning streak. It’s the second-longest among Division I teams  trailing only Gonzaga’s 14-game streak.

Coach Mike McMahon makes making his first appearance with Murray State, which ranks among the nation’s best mid-major teams.

West Virginia must contain Murray State’s guards

Guard Jonathan Stark averages 21.8 points per game to lead the team and provides it with perimeter punch. The former Tulane transfer was picked as the Ohio Valley Conference’s Player of  the Year. But he will be tested by Carter, perhaps the nation’s best on-ball defender.

Freshman guard Ja Morant fills the stat sheet averaging 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.  He ranks second in the nation among freshman guards in assists, trailing only Oklahoma’s Trae Young.

But the Racers are better known for their tenacious defense. They rank 18th for lowest effective field goal percentage and the 10th lowest 3-point percentage among Division I teams. Their team does a strong  job of forcing opponents to take contested shots, which will be a challenge for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia needs to be patient and take high-percentage shots in order to advance. That strategy has been difficult for them to grasp at times this season. Offensive droughts have frequently hurt them all season.

The NCAA game will be the first time the Racers and Mountaineers have ever played.  Huggins notched a 4-2 record against the Racers when he coached at Akron earlier in his career.

The post 2018 NCAA Tournament: West Virginia-Murray State, time, TV channel, watch online (March 16, 2018) appeared first on Diehards.

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