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West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. Iowa State Cyclones Preview: Season 108 Episode 34 - Big 12 Championship

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The Mountaineers return to the Big 12 final for the second straight year. This time against the Iowa State Cyclones.

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

OPENING THOUGHTS

Well that game was insane.

I think I can sum up the game in five phases (reactions brought to you by Will Smith).

Phase 1 (beginning of the game until about 12 minutes to go):

Phase 2 (about 12 minutes to go until 2 minutes to go):

Phase 3 (Tarik Phillip’s three pointer and Esa Ahmad’s free throw):

Phase 4 (Kamau Stoke’s missed three point prayer):

Phase 5 (Postgame):

All in all, it was a game which I would never want to watch again. Ever.

For a second here, I’m going to look ahead to the NCAA Tournament.

With the berth in the Big 12 Tournament, I think it might be safe to assume that WVU has locked up at least a 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. We’ll likely be playing our first/second round games in either Buffalo, NY or Greenville, SC.

In case you missed it yesterday, Marshall advanced to the Conference USA Tournament final. The Thundering Herd are a six seed in the tournament, but has managed to scratch and claw their way past Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech to get this far.

Marshall is a miniature version of the Golden State Warriors. They rely heavily on three-pointers.

I just figured I’d let you guys know, if the Thundering Herd win tomorrow (and earn C-USA’s automatic bid), it is highly likely that they will play WVU in the first round of the NCAA.

The NCAA just about always does what is in their own best interest. It’s why Syracuse was chosen to go to the tournament instead of Monmouth last year.

With a rivalry reborn in the tournament, it would create added incentive for WVU and Marshall fans alike to watch the in person rather than on TV.

I’m not saying it’s a foregone conclusion, I’m just saying there is a real possibility.

To see if this happens or not, I encourage you to watch the Conference USA Final. It will be on after WVU’s game (8:00 PM ET) on CBS Sports Network.

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Saturday, March 11th

Tip-Off Time: 6:00 PM ET/5:00 PM CT

Where: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Tickets: General Public

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPN

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

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

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

ODDS

Spread: WVU by 3.5

O/U: 146.5

BRACKETOLOGY

MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
ESPN (Mar. 11) 4 Vermont Virginia/UT Arlington Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)
CBS (Mar. 11) 4 Vermont Minnesota/UNC Wilmington Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)
NBC (Mar. 11) 5 Nevada Notre Dame/Bucknell Milwaukee (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
SB Nation (Mar. 11) 4 Princeton Minnesota/Nevada Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) Memphis, Tenn. (Mar. 24 & 26)
Sports Illustrated (Mar. 11) 4 Bucknell Minnesota/UNC Wilmington Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) Memphis, Tenn. (Mar. 24 & 26)

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Ames, Iowa

Series History: Series tied 5-5

Last Time: No. 10 West Virginia 87, No. 24 Iowa State 76 on March 3 in Morgantown

SB Nation Blog: Wide Right & Natty Lite

Record: 22-10 (12-6 Big 12)

Bracketology:

MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
ESPN (Mar. 11) 6 Middle Tennessee Florida State/Winthrop Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
CBS (Mar. 11) 7 Michigan State Duke/Texas Southern Greenville, S.C. (Mar. 17 & 19) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)
NBC (Mar. 11) 6 Providence UCLA/Iona Sacramento, Calif. (Mar. 17 & 19) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)
SB Nation (Mar. 11) 6 Providence/USC Louisville/Akron Indianapolis (Mar. 17 & 19) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
Sports Illustrated (Mar. 11) 6 Michigan State Florida State/Cal State Bakersfield Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 16 & 18) Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 23 & 25)

Head Coach: Steve Prohm

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-TCU vs Iowa State Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Rebounding. Like I mentioned yesterday, WVU is capable of out-rebounding any team in the conference. The Mountaineers didn’t have any kind of edge in the game against K-State until they started rebounding. Could go a long way.
  • ESA AHMAD. He ended up being some kind of a difference maker in yesterday’s game, didn’t he? Maybe if he keeps it up he’ll turn this team around.
  • Iowa State “Bum of the Game”. I’m going to borrow the Mountaineer Maniacs’ exert for this. Deonte Burton scored 22 points against TCU yesterday. He could go off again. Keep an eye on him.

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

Ten. With the way that WVU played yesterday and the way Iowa State is getting better, I am as afraid of the Cyclones as I could possibly be. I’m still ready for this game though.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

With the way the Mountaineers finished the K-State game, I think that there will be some more scoring. On both sides. It’ll be a great game, but LET’S WIN IT!!

West Virginia 80, Iowa State 79