Iowa State Cyclones vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Preview
Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown
When: Friday, March 3, 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the Iowa State Cyclones (20-9, 12-5 Big 12)
The Cyclones are not catching Kansas atop the Big 12 standings, but closing out the regular season with a victory over a top 10 opponent in WVU would be a big boost to their confidence as the national tournament nears.
Tonight’s game also gives the Cyclones a chance to avenge their 85-72 loss at Ames on January 31. The January Cyclones were a vastly different team than the one playing since February kicked off. The Cyclones went just 4-5 SU in January but has since gone 7-1 SU. They’ve beaten ranked teams such as Kansas and Baylor after losing in the first meeting with West Virginia.
Iowa State’s newfound success was mostly the product of a vicious offense that unloads 80.6 points per game. In their 86-83 win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 28, the Cyclones shot 47.5 percent from the field while sinking 15 threes. They hit 10 treys against West Virginia in the first encounter.
Monte Morris and Nazareth Mitrou-Long must be poised to meet WVU again, as the top two leading scorers of the Cyclones combined for just 18 points on 8-for-27 shooting from the field. Morris paces the team with 16.1 PPG, while Mitrou-Long is second with 15.8.
Iowa State is 3-1 ATS in its last four road games.
Betting on the West Virginia Mountaineers (23-7, 11-6 Big 12)
After a nasty shooting night in the 71-62 road loss to Baylor last Friday, the Mountaineers will try to recover their touch on offense tonight, when they host the Cyclones.
The Mountaineers shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and were outrebounded, 43-23. Their defense was still as pesky, though, forcing Baylor to commit 18 turnovers. West Virginia is tops in the nation with opponents coughing up the ball 21.4 times per contest. The Mountaineers saw Iowa State had 16 turnovers in the first encounter with WVU.
One of the most efficient teams on both ends of the floor, the Mountaineers could be without a key player in Esa Ahmad, who has missed the last three games with an unknown reason. Ahmad, who is second on the team with 11.7 PPG, scored 14 points against Iowa State back in January.
Should Ahmad miss tonight’s game, the Mountaineers will see a heavier usage Jevon Carter and Nathan Adrian have a heavier usage rate. Carter leads the team with 12.9 PPG, while Adrian is third with 11.7. Adrian more than doubled his season average in the Iowa State game, finishing with 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting to help propel WVU to the victory.
WVU, which allows just 66.5 PPG, is 8-2 SU in its last 10 at home.
Iowa State (+8) wins, 76-73.
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