WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

WVU basketball’s next two foes fall from Top 25

It was shaping up to be one heck of a home stretch in WVU’s current five-game streak. A visit to TCU and visit from Kentucky could have given the Mountaineers four ranked opponents in those five games.

Yeah … about that …

The new top 25 polls came out Monday and both the Horned Frogs and Wildcats fell from the list. For Kentucky, it’s the team’s first week outside the top 25 since 2014. The Mountaineers are in Fort Worth tonight. They host Kentucky on Saturday with College Gameday coming to town, an event announced when that was a much more enticing game for the casual fan.

The Horned Frogs got a little less dangerous with the news that point guard Jaylen Fisher was out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, yet they should still be a concern. Of their five losses, none of them have come by more than five points and two of them came in overtime. TCU will stick around.

Kentucky is another story. Sure, the Wildcats have lost three of their last five. But the big thing when facing them is to get them before their young players have a chance to figure things out. Last season, a Kentucky roster with 12 players either freshmen or sophomores lost three of four between late January and early February. After that February loss, UK didn’t lose again until the Elite Eight. There’s always a chance for Kentucky to remember that it’s Kentucky and play as such.

These next two games are crucial for WVU, especially now that both are unranked. Losing to a pair of unranked teams will not help them at all in terms of NCAA tournament seeding.