To one of the combatants in tonight's Capital Classic, the annual meeting between the Mountain State's two NCAA Division 1 programs is just another non-conference contest.
To the other, the mid-January game represents its Super Bowl - a chance to show the rest of the state that it is on a par with its "bigger brother".
That was the case a year ago when an unranked Marshall University squad out-scrapped a West Virginia University team ranked among the country's Top 25. I can still see the Thundering Herd players jumping atop the tables that lined up on media row shouting how West Virginia was their state.
And, they were right.
Marshall had earned the right to lay claim to being the state's top men's basketball program by virtue of its 75-71 victory.
Yes, WVU went on to play in yet another NCAA tournament under head coach Bobby Huggins while the Thundering Herd failed to reach the "Big Dance" again, but their green and white clad fans could state proudly that they owned the state's bragging rights.
Now, those same rights are up for grabs again.
This time it will be a Mountaineer squad that includes seven players that weren't even on the Civic Center floor during last year's loss taking on a Marshall squad that is one of the best teams in Conference-USA and returns its top two scorers from that victory - Damier Pitts and DeAndre Kane, who scored 25 and 18 points, respectively.
Which team handles the pressure that always seems to surround this game will have the upper hand, but that doesn't ensure victory.
WVU comes to the state's capital without three of its top four scorers from a year ago.
Casey Mitchell led the way with 18 points while John Flowers chipped in with 16 and Joe Mazzulla added 10.
Seniors Darryl Bryant and Kevin Jones are back, as well as the Turkish Nightmare, Deniz Kilicli.
But, the Mountaineers' success will fall squarely upon the shoulders of a talented group of freshmen and a healthy Kevin Noreen, who missed last year's showdown.
Aaron Brown, Gary Browne, Pat Forsythe, Jabarie Hinds, Tommie McCune, Keaton Miles, Dominique Rutledge and former Logan standout Paul Williamson will be the group that determines WVU's success, or failure.
If that group plays up to the talent it possesses, then WVU will have a chance to avenge its stunning setback of a year ago.
Talent, however, isn't only on the side of the old gold and blue as the Thundering Herd of head coach Tom Herrion possesses the kind of skill and talent that could earn Marshall a trip to March Madness.
But, if there is one thing that I have learned after years of watching this showdown - talent will not be the key ingredient to victory.
The team that displays, and maintains, the emotion that a rivalry like this one naturally carries with it, will come out victorious. Take the game lightly, which has been WVU's downfall in past encounters, and you will lose.
It's really that simple.
Contact Jim Butta at email@example.com