After earning their first win of the season against Marist, the West Virginia Mountaineers face Davidson in the semifinals of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando Friday.
The Mountaineers had over a week to rehash what went wrong in an ugly season-opening loss against Gonzaga, where the offense looked broken and the defense allowed 84 points, losing by 34. They flipped the script against a much worse Marist team, winning 87-44 behind a bench-heavy scoring effort in their second game of the season.
Davidson made it to the semis by handily beating a Vanderbilt squad that lost several players to the NBA last season, winning 75-62. The Wildcats have made their name as a mid-major after their 2008 Elite Eight run, but the 2012 edition of Bob McKillop's squad hasn't had the best start: they faced a tough test in The Pit against New Mexico and took a lead, but couldn't hold off Steve Alford's squad, then lost to Milwaukee. But junior forward De'Mon Brooks has been tough to stop, averaging 19.8 points thus far.
Friday's game will likely be decided behind the three-point arc: West Virginia has struggled in their first two matchups, shooting 22.5 percent, while Davidson is lights out as a team at 38.5 percent.The winner will play the winner of Oklahoma and No. 17 Gonzaga - exactly what West Virginia doesn't want to hear, having been blown out by the Zags in their only NCAA Tournament last year and then again in the ugly season opener.
Here's a look at Friday afternoon's game:
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Davidson Wildcats, 12:30 p.m., ESPN