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WVU vs. #15 Iowa State Preview - Riot Ball, Yo

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After a few days off, the West Virginia Mountaineers look to get back on track by traveling to Ames to take on Melvin Ejim and the #15 Iowa State Cyclones on Wednesday at 8:00PM EST on the Big XII Network.

Game Day Vitals

  • West Virginia Mountaineers (15-12, 7-7 Big XII) vs. #15 Iowa State Cyclones (21-5, 9-5 Big XII)
  • Series Record: 1-2, last meeting was a beatdown in the Oliver Garden 102-77
  • Location: Hilton Coliseum (Capacity: 14,356) Ames, Iowa
  • Vegas Lines: (+9.5) for the good guys
  • Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
  • Television: Big XII Network / ESPN3 / WatchESPN
  • Stations carrying the game locally include: MASN (Capital region), PCNC (Pittsburgh), WIYE-My 5 (Parkersburg), WVFX (North Central West Virginia), WQCW (Charleston-Huntington), and WTOV-DT2 (Northern Panhandle).
  • O/U on number of times the phrase "Bubble" is said: 2.5
  • Radio Affiliates

Opponent Information

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(click to embiggen)

YES SIR

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Game Preview

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that absolutely no one expected the route that was the last Riot Ball matchup. Melvin Ejim, who was coming off of a career night against TCU with 48 points, was held to a mere six points while going 1-9 from the field. Remi Dibo, who had gone 3-14 the preview two games, had a career night of 20 points hitting 6-8 from beyond the arc. In every possible way, that game in Morgantown was an outlier. Iowa State pushed around and embarrassed by both the Mountaineers and the wrath of the WVU Coliseum. Sadly, the Eers haven't been able to find that magic in the last two weeks and have to go into Ames against a ISU team that feels they must right a wrong.

There's no doubt that WVU still faces some serious match-up issues against Iowa State. The most obvious one is obvious: this game puts Iowa State's sixth-ranked scoring offense against West Virginia's 260th-ranked scoring defense. That still ain't good. Ejim is still their main threat, but Niang and Kane are flanking scorers that put up decent numbers against the Mountaineers in Morgantown (even with some rattled free throws.)

WVU needs to win two of their last three quality games to seriously be considered a tournament team and this one would go a loooooooooong way. The Mountaineers haven't played well recently, but there's always the chance for all cylinders to fire on point. I feel like there would be more of a chance if the Eers hadn't gotten manhandled in their past two games, but it should still be a hell of a fight.

Prediction:

WVU 75 - ISU 83