(Sports Network) -- Valentine's Day tends to inspire a sentimental disposition, but there will be no love lost between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), as the Big East Conference foes meet Monday night at the Carrier Dome.
The Mountaineers (16-8, 7-5) are hoping to persevere through the toughest stretch of basketball in program history, as seven of their final nine Big East opponents sport a national ranking. Never before has West Virginia faced seven ranked opponents in nine games. West Virginia last played on Saturday, downing DePaul 82-71. The triumph halted a two game skid, in which the Mountaineers fell to Villanova, 66-50, on Jan. 5th and to Pitt, 71-66, on Jan. 7th.
The Orange (20-6, 7-6) happen to be one of the seven, securely planted in the top-25. Big East play has not been kind to the Orange of late though, as it fell to ranked foes Georgetown (64-56) and Louisville (73-69) in its last two contests. The recent setbacks halted a two-game win streak that included victories over Connecticut (66-58) and USF (72-49).
With regards to the all-time series, tonight's matchup marks the 49th meeting between West Virginia and Syracuse. The Orange currently holds a 32-16 lead over the Mountaineers.
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