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Purdue vs. West Virginia Pick NCAA Hoops – Dec 22nd

Ronnie JohnsonIt was a great day in college hoops with some ridiculous games.  Oregon and BYU played a 100-96 overtime thriller with the Ducks just barely staying unbeaten.  Ohio State used even more magic to stay perfect on the season, with an 8-0 run in the final 39 seconds to storm past Notre Dame (who really needed a quality win to erase the stench of two bad home losses).

One last thriller got us to an even 1-1 ATS on the day, and the was Colorado using a late run to narrowly cover against visiting Oklahoma State.  It was a good day overall for the Big 12.  Not only did Oklahoma State win against a ranked opponent on the road, Kansas dominated Georgetown and showed some glimpses of the National Title contender most thought they could be, and Kansas State beat Gonzaga by double-digits.  Add in a competitive loss for Texas against Michigan State, and nice win for Oklahoma at Texas A&M, and perhaps this league will be a five or six bid league like in the hayday.

There’s another slumping power that is trying to make a reemergence this season, and we will find out a ton about them this afternoon.  Let’s take a look at today’s West Virginia vs. Purdue.

Purdue Boilermakers at West Virginia Mountaineers -6.5

The ‘Eers have gone through a few rough seasons since joining the Big 12.  I think it is more coincidence than causal, as the Big East was a far more competitive league, but it has been enough of a lull that there’s been a little fear that perhaps Bob Huggins is beginning to fizzle out.  However, at 7-4 they are right on the precipice of being a tourney team.  Their losses aren’t terrible and are all competitive; Gonzaga by 4, @Mizzou by 9, Wisconsin by 7 (and VA Tech by 4 – ok, that’s a bad loss).

Meanwhile, Purdue has also been a little  better than expectations, but have yet to take down a real high quality opponent.  They played Oklahoma State tough in Orlando over Thanksgiving, and lost 76-70 to Butler last weekend in Indianapolis.  However, their best wins are over Boston College, Rider, and… I don’t know, a pair of wins over Southern Indiana-Edwardsville?  It’s been a pretty lousy slate.

Purdue has some talent, but any of their metrics and stats are largely irrelevant because of the weakness of the competition.  Tonight, they get a legit opponent in a real road game.  I think it is going to be a bit much to handle for the young Boilers.

I like West Virginia to enjoy finally getting a true home game and a chance to earn a quality win.\, even laying the six points.

Free Pick:  West Virginia Mountaineers -6.5