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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking West Virginia Pt. 3

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Iowa State will face West Virginia for the Big 12 Tournament Championship

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

For the third time in four years, Iowa State will be playing for a Big 12 Tournament Championship. The Iowa State Cyclones have never lost a Big 12 Tournament Title game, and they’ll look to keep that streak alive today against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Neither Deonte Burton or Steve Prohm have ever beaten West Virginia, but the Mountaineers haven’t exactly been impressive since getting to Kansas City. This should be a classic battle of excellent offense and stout defense.

Iowa State vs. West Virginia by the Numbers

Iowa State West Virginia
Iowa State West Virginia
AP Ranking 23 11
Season Record 22-10 (12-6) 26-7 (12-6)
Home/Away 12-3 / 10-7 16-2 / 10-5
Series Record 5-5 5-5
Series in Kansas City 0-0 0-0
Via KenPom (3/10)
Overall Ranking 20 4
Adjusted Offense 13th 28th
Adjusted Defense 44th 4th
2P% 50.7% (108) 50.2% (130)
3P% 40.4% (8) 36.2% (120)
FT% 69.7% (196) 68.2% (245)
EFG% 54.7% (29) 51.6% (125)

Last Time Out

Iowa State let out some aggression in a 21-point beat down of the TCU Horned Frogs in semifinal number one.

In the second semifinal, Kansas State gave West Virginia all they could handle, but the Mountaineers finally triumphed 51-50 in what was assuredly NOT a football game.

Rounds 1 and 2

If you’re looking for a couple identical games where the first half was played fairly evenly while the second half features a ton of missed shots in a double-digit Iowa State loss, I have a couple examples for you.

Ames

Morgantown

Matchups and Players to Watch

I’m watching Nazareth Mitrou-Long and Deonte Burton. West Virginia has done a great job of getting the ball out of Monte Morris’ hands in the first two bouts. This has resulted in a fair amount of turnovers from Iowa State’s other primary ball handlers. Iowa State needs to play relatively mistake free ball to bring the Championship trophy back to Ames, and for that to occur, Iowa State’s “other” ball handlers will have to play with Monte Morris-like efficiency.

A Word and a GIF Summary

Today’s word: Champions

Nazareth Mitrou-Long talked about being winners and champions after the semifinal win over TCU. He and the rest of the seniors all chose Iowa State because they wanted to win championships, and they have a chance to do that today. Monte Morris, Matt Thomas and Naz Long each have two tournament titles. Now it’s time to get one for Deonte Burton, Darrell Bowie, and Merrill Holden.

Today’s GIF:

Pick 3

  1. Hilton South is another level of lit
  2. Steve Prohm and Deonte Burton finally beat the Mountaineers
  3. Monte Morris, Matt Thomas and Naz Long win their third Big 12 Tournament Title

#23 Iowa State - 82; #11 West Virginia - 77

Game Notes

Game Time: Saturday, March 11th, 5:00 p.m. CST

Line Open: West Virginia (-3)

The Foe: The Smoking Musket

TV/Webcast: ESPN/WatchESPN (Bob Wischusen, Fran Fraschilla, Holly Rowe)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio App (John Walters, Eric Heft)

Cyclones.com Game Notes: Unavailable (Tournament Central)