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West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. Iowa State Cyclones Preview: Season 108 Episode 22 - Riot Ball IX

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“Is this heaven? No. It’s Iowa.”

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NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

OPENING THOUGHTS

Welp, the Mountaineers are still suffering from lack of effort clearly...

There were many times where WVU had the Texas A&M game in the bag, and the Mountaineers just couldn’t close the deal.

It was very frustrating to watch.

Luckily Esa Ahmad did just enough practice on foul shooting (but still not enough) to clinch the game.

Now, after a full week of college basketball chaos, West Virginia has vaulted up to 7th in the AP Poll. I still think rankings are meaningless, but whenever the Mountaineers get notoriety, I get nervous.

Plus, we have to head to Ames, Iowa.

If you don’t know, Ames is where good teams go to die. The Cyclones have been known for “Hilton Magic” ever since they defeated third-ranked Missouri back in 1989. Two seasons ago, they rallied from 21 down to beat Oklahoma and earlier this season they nearly beat Kansas. Iowa State is 84-9 in Ames since 2012.

This year, the Cyclones need a psychological lift. They dropped a close one in Nashville against Vanderbilt on Saturday and need to find some traction if they want to stay on the positive side of the bubble.

It’s a big opportunity for Iowa State and the fact that the game is in Ames makes me think that the Cyclone fans will walk out of the building satisfied Tuesday night.

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Tuesday, January 31st

Tip-Off Time: 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT

Where: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA

Tickets: General Public

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPN2

Streaming Video: WatchESPN (or the WatchESPN app for smartphones)

Radio: WZST Variety 101 (100.9 FM in Morgantown) and the Mountaineer Sports Network form IMG (Radio Affiliates)

Streaming Audio: Locate the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 84; XM 84

ODDS

Spread: WVU by 3 (according to Caesar’s Palace)

O/U: 154.5 (according to Caesar’s Palace)

BRACKETOLOGY

MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
ESPN (Jan. 30) 3 Princeton Purdue/Middle Tennessee Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
CBS (Jan. 30) 5 UNC Wilmington Wisconson/Vermont Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
NBC (Jan. 26) 4 Vermont Cincinnati/Wake-Mich Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
SB Nation (Jan. 31) 4 Richmond Wisconsin/Illinois State Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) New York (Mar 24 & 26)

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Ames, Iowa

Series History: Iowa State leads the series 5-3

Last Time: No. 14 West Virginia 97, No. 17 Iowa State 87 on February 22, 2016 in Morgantown

SB Nation Blog: Wide Right & Natty Lite

Record: 13-7 (5-3 Big 12)

Bracketology:

MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
ESPN (Jan. 30) 7 Minnesota Louisville/Furman Indianapolis (Mar. 17 & 19) Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 23 & 25)
CBS (Jan. 30) 11 NC State then South Carolina Creighton/Bucknell Milwaukee (Mar. 16 & 18) Memphis, Tenn. (Mar. 24 & 26)
NBC (Jan. 26) 9 Arkansas Gonzaga/Texas Southern Salt Lake City (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
SB Nation (Jan. 31) 9 Marquette Gonzaga/Texas Southern Salt Lake City (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)

Record in 2015-16: 23-12 (10-8 Big 12); Lost to Virginia in the NCAA Sweet 16

Head Coach: Steve Prohm (BEAR IN THE WOODS)

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Take a wild guess...If you don’t know by now, you never will.
  • ISU playmakers. Monte Morris averages over 16 points per game. Limiting Morris will go a long way for a possible win. Also, Deonte Burton. He leads the Cyclones in rebounds and averages double figures in scoring.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

Eight. Hilton Coliseum is the second only to Allen Fieldhouse in worst places to play. I’m as afraid of Iowa State as I am of taking care of a drunk friend.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

I will stay cautiously optimistic and say that WVU will win a close one, but the Mountaineers will have to really come out and compete if they expect to get the W.

West Virginia 83, Iowa State 82 (OT)