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The Uphill Battle: West Virginia Faces Off Against Dominant Iowa State

Game Info:

2/24/24

ESPN2

2:00 pm EST

Cyclones -17.5


The Big 12 basketball competition is becoming increasingly intense, and this Saturday afternoon brings us a thrilling conference game as the West Virginia Mountaineers go head-to-head with the sixth-ranked Iowa State Cyclones. The Mountaineers, who are looking to improve their current record, come into this game at 9-17, including a 4-9 record in conference play. On the other side, Iowa State boasts a strong season performance, standing at 20-6, with a 9-4 record in the conference. The game is eagerly anticipated and set to commence at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, at the renowned James H. Hilton Coliseum located in Ames, Iowa. Fans from both teams are gearing up for what promises to be a competitive and action-packed encounter between these two Big 12 contenders.


Huggins Gone But Not Forgotten

In the wake of recent coaching changes, West Virginia's basketball team has navigated through a period of adjustment under interim coach Josh Eilert. With a conference record of 4-9, they currently find themselves at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. Despite these challenges, the Mountaineers have demonstrated resilience and competitiveness, particularly in games where they upset higher-ranked teams such as Texas and Kansas, showcasing their potential against formidable opponents.

However, the team has faced setbacks, suffering losses in four of their last five encounters, indicating areas that need improvement, as they look to regain their earlier form. Nonetheless, there was a glimmer of hope in their recent performance as they secured a victory against UCF, hinting at a possible turnaround.


From a sports betting perspective, West Virginia has compiled a record of 10-15-1 against the spread, suggesting that they have often defied expectations, for better or worse. Additionally, in terms of total points, their games have tended to be high-scoring, with the 'over' result hitting in 13 out of 26 matches. This trend reflects the team's offensive capabilities and the dynamic nature of their games, making them an unpredictable yet intriguing team for bettors and fans alike.


Mountaineers Surpass Expectations

In their last matchup against UCF, West Virginia defied expectations by overcoming a 2.5-point disadvantage as the home underdog, securing a notable victory. Despite losing more turnovers than UCF, with 13 compared to the Knights' 7, the Mountaineers excelled in crucial areas. They dominated with a superior field goal percentage of 48.1% against UCF's 32.9%, outshone their opponents from beyond the arc with 50.0% accuracy compared to 23.7%, and led in rebounds, 42 to 36.


On an individual level, Quinn Slazinski has been a standout performer for West Virginia, leading the team with an average of 12.9 points per game and grabbing 4.2 rebounds. Kobe Johnson has been instrumental at the guard position, contributing an average of 6.0 points per game while leading the team in assists (2.2 APG), steals (0.6 SPG), and blocks (0.4 BPG), showcasing his all-around game and pivotal role in the team's dynamics.


Iowa's Dominance

In their recent outing, Iowa State faced a tough challenge against the second-ranked Houston and ended up falling short, which resulted in them sliding to second place in the Big 12, one game behind the leader. Following this loss, their odds for clinching the regular season championship have adjusted to +330, contrasting with Houston's stronger position at -370. Looking ahead, the Cyclones are listed at +2000 for a potential victory in the NCAA Championship come April.


Before this setback against Houston, the Cyclones were on a winning streak, securing victories against Texas, TCU, Cincinnati, and Texas Tech, demonstrating their competitive edge and resilience. In terms of betting, Iowa State has been a strong contender, with an 18-7-1 record against the spread, and 15 of their 26 games have exceeded the total points line.


During their match against Houston, despite being 7.5-point underdogs, the Cyclones showed promise, outperforming Houston in rebounds and three-point efficiency. However, they couldn't maintain this advantage across all fronts, as Houston bested them in overall field goal percentage and committed fewer turnovers.


Individually, Keshon Gilbert has been a key player for Iowa State, leading the team with an average of 14.3 points per game. Tamin Lipsey has also made significant contributions, not just scoring an average of 12.8 points per game but also leading the team in assists and steals, highlighting his pivotal role in the team's dynamics and strategy.


Dive into the core of Big 12 basketball with Milan Momcilovic and Curtis Jones as they discuss the demanding physicality of the league. Listen in as they share insights on the mental resilience required to thrive and the crucial adjustments they're making to meet the challenges head-on.

Tough Country Road Ahead For The Mountaineers

These statistics set a daunting stage for West Virginia as they gear up to enter the lion's den that is Hilton Coliseum, a venue where Iowa State has not only defended its turf but also decimated opponents with a flawless 15-0 record straight up and an almost as impressive 13-2 against the spread. With the Cyclones hungry to bounce back from their recent stumble against Houston, they're primed to showcase their resilience and depth. Boasting a defense that can stifle the best and an offense that quietly delivers with four players averaging over 10.2 points per game, Iowa State is well-equipped to take control of the game and not just win, but cover the spread with authority. In this high-stakes Big 12 showdown, I'm placing my bets on Iowa State to not only rebound but to do so in spectacular fashion. Tune in, as this game promises to be a compelling chapter in the conference narrative.



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