"It's real now," said WVU freshman forward Oscar Tshiebwe, after the Mountaineers squeaked by Youngstown State, 75-64, last Saturday.
He was referring to the gauntlet that now awaits the Mountaineers after the Christmas break, which all begins on Sunday.
No. 22 West Virginia will face its first ranked foe of the year in No. 2 Ohio State at noon at the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, in Cleveland on Sunday.
Ohio State defeated then ranked No. 6 Kentucky last Saturday to move up in the polls.
The Buckeyes represent WVU's final non-conference game before Big 12 play begins with Kansas after the new year.