Marshall men’s basketball heads into its annual game against West Virginia in the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic with a 5-3 record after 61-58 win over UNC-Wilmington last Saturday.

The Herd and Mountaineers are the only two Division-1 NCAA programs in the Mountain State and Marshall head coach Tom Herrion believes this game is great for the state.

“You’ve got two division-I institutions on separate sides of the state and got great fan bases for both of them, respectively, and our state capital,” Herrion said. “I’m a big fan of rivalry games. You can throw out the distaste or whatever the fans may have, but we know we have great respect for their program.”

The Charleston Civic Center will host the game for the 22nd consecutive year and always creates a great environment for the players.

“It’s a really good, fun game to play in cause it’s a big rivalry around here,” senior center Nigel Spike said. “You couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”

“(Last year) the atmosphere was crazy,” sophomore guard Chris Martin, who experienced his first Capital Classic last season, said.” We got half Marshall fans and half WVU fans, so it gets very loud in there. I’m excited about it.”

Last season 12, 684 fans watched last season’s game, the 40th meeting between the schools all-time, and saw the Mountaineers take home the Capital Classic trophy with a 78-62 win, and the Herd will attempt to beat WVU for the second time under Tom Herrion.

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