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Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

Here are some thawed opinions.

n Comparisons make the sports world go ‘round.

Just about every fan would agree with that premise. It’s particularly true when it involves a state’s only two major college athletic programs.

Namely, West Virginia University and Marshall University.

The comparisons started during the 2020 football season, as the Thundering Herd white-washed Eastern Kentucky, 59-0, in MU’s season-opener on September 5. Exactly one week later, the Mountaineers rumbled past the Colonels, 56-10, in Morgantown.

Now, it’s happening again during basketball season.

Remember when the Mountaineers suddenly scheduled a game against North Texas in the WVU Coliseum on Dec. 11? Well, now, Marshall is slated to host a two-game series against the Mean Green on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) in the Cam Henderson Center.

That inevitably will lead to plenty of comparing and contrasting.

In the earlier contest, the Mountaineers used a strong second half to defeat North Texas, 62-50. But the Mean Green did throw a scare into WVU fans by taking a 29-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Mountaineers erased that deficit by out-scoring North Texas, 41-21, in the second half, while also destroying the Conference USA member, 48-32, on the boards.

North Texas is a bit under-sized, which helped WVU and also should help Marshall. Besides that, more similarities abound. MU and North Texas are both on three-game winning streaks, plus the Herd has won five of its last six games while the Mean Green has won seven of its last eight.

Also, both MU and North Texas are coming off open weekends. Marshall’s two-game series at Rice was canceled as were North Texas’ two games at Western Kentucky.

Speaking of the Hilltoppers, they are another opponent to play the compare and contrast game against. The Mountaineers defeated the Hilltoppers, 70-64, in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic on Nov. 27 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

WKU’s 6-foot-11 Charles Bassey led four double-figure scorers with 15 points and eight rebounds.

By comparison, the Herd lost a pair of games to Western Kentucky on Jan. 15 and 17. Marshall lost, 81-73, at Bowling Green, Ky., then fell, 69-67, to the Hilltoppers in the Henderson Center.

What must be noted, however, is MU was coming off a 14-day quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test and practiced only once during that interim before playing WKU.

Compare, compare, compare.

Wasn’t that fun?

n WVU fans need to send University of Texas guard Courtney Ramey a thank you note.

Why?

Because if Ramey hadn’t gotten irate with teammate Andrew Jones for a perceived lack of defensive effort, which led to Ramey having to be restrained, WVU probably wouldn’t have won the game.

Texas had a 17-point lead and was cruising early in the second half when the altercation occurred. After the incident? Texas never was the same and WVU rallied to win.

So, how does a coach handle that situation?

“Tell them to stop,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins bluntly during a Zoom meeting on Monday. “What are you going to do? Tell ‘em to stop and go sit down. Sit one of ‘em away from the other one and continue the game.

“You certainly can’t screw the game up because guys get a little emotional.”

Yet, that’s precisely what happened.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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