The Iowa State Cyclones and West Virginia Mountaineers meet for a Big 12 matchup on Friday night at the WVU Coliseum. This is a battle of teams going in opposite directions. Usually a sure bet to be a contender in the Big 12, Iowa State is off to their worst start in 30 years. The Cyclones never seem like a threat to win the National Championship, but a good, solid squad that has the potential to reach the Sweet Sixteen.
This season, though, it doesn’t look like Iowa State are going to be getting to the Sweet Sixteen, and if they don’t figure it out quickly, the Cyclones are going to miss out on the NCAA Tournament completely. Iowa State heads into Friday night with a record of 1-3. Their only win was against Arkansas Pine Bluff to open the season, 80-63. Not too many people anticipated three straight losses for Iowa State. They were losers against South Dakota State, 71-68, Iowa, 105-77, and Kansas State, 74-65.
That isn’t what I’ve been accustomed to when it comes to Iowa State basketball. In any event, there is plenty of time for Iowa State to turn things around, but in a season like this when there could be cancellations down the road, every outing is important. Following a trip to West Virginia, the Cyclones are scheduled to play Jackson State and Chicago State, two games where they should be able to find two easy wins. Tonight in Morgantown? That’s not going to be the case against the No. 8 ranked Mountaineers.
West Virginia do a lot of things well and have some impressive wins in their portfolio. They welcome Iowa State to Morgantown with a record of 6-1. Their only loss was a hard fought 87-82 loss against No. 1 Gonzaga. No shame in that loss on the road. If the Mountaineers were at home, maybe they win that game. The Mountaineers are coming off an impressive 87-71 win over Richmond at home. They were seven-point favorites, but easily cleared that to cover with ease. Head below for our free Iowa State vs. West Virginia pick for December 18, 2020.
Iowa State Cyclones vs. West Virginia Mountaineers NCAA Betting Odds:
Iowa State vs. West Virginia Prediction:
West Virginia is a dangerous team that is going to give any opponent a difficult time. Regarded as the best team in the NCAA, the Gonzaga Bulldogs had to fight for a 87-82 win at home. West Virginia didn’t go away, and if they meet in the NCAA Tournament in March, the Mountaineers might have learned their mistakes and beat the Bulldogs. The offense has been playing well with 76.9 points per game.
Against the teams they needed to play well against, West Virginia were at their best offensively. The Mountaineers scored 87 against Richmond, 80 against Georgetown, and 82 against Gonzaga. Games like against North Texas didn’t appear to interest them, and West Virginia didn’t go all out in a 62-50 win. Iowa State is likely going to be a team that gets their attention, though.
The Mountaineers have scored an average of 79.2 points a game against the Cyclones in their past five meetings. At least for those West Virginia teams, they’ve been motivated to play Iowa State. I anticipate West Virginia having their offense in fine form against a struggling Iowa State team on the defensive floor. The Cyclones are 278th in the NCAA with 78.3 points conceded per game. Expect the Mountaineers to do plenty of damage on Friday night at home.
Iowa State has shot well against West Virginia in recent memory as well. They’ve recorded 74 points per game in their last five meetings. Unfortunately for Iowa State, this is a different team that hasn’t had much to celebrate in 2020 so far. These two teams tend to get into high-scoring games. No matter what the rosters are like, the shooters come out to play. The OVER has gone 9-1 in their last ten games, dating back to 2016. An average of 153.2 points has been scored in their last five. This one should get OVER on Friday night.