Mon, Feb 7, 12:35pm by Kevin Pitstock
West Virginia and Pittsburgh will renew their rivalry in Morgantown on Monday in a huge Big East tilt. The Mountaineers are in desperate need of a win, as they have fallen to 6-4 in conference play, and 15-7 overall. The Panthers enjoy a two game lead at the top of the conference, and at 21-2 are vying for a number one seed overall in the NCAA tournament.
The two teams will turn around and play 17 days from now in Pittsburgh. They also have the chance to possibly play each other in the Big East tournament in early March. Currently the Mountaineers are in eighth place, with would mean they could be matched with the Panthers early in the tournament.
West Virginia Mountaineers Overview
The Mountaineers are coming off a 16 point loss to Villanova on Saturday. Bob Huggins and his crew have been up and down, seeing losses to Marshall and Louisville within the last month. West Virginia is 9-1 this season when playing at the WVU Coliseum.
West Virginia is scoring 71 points per game, led by Casey Mitchell, and his 15.7 points per game. The Mountaineers are shooting just 43.5% from the field, which ranks right in the middle of the pack in the country. West Virginia has been to the Final Four twice in their schools history, and hold a 24-23 NCAA tournament record.
Pittsburgh Panthers Overview
The road team – Pittsburgh Panthers come into the game ranked 4th in the Associated Press poll. The Panthers beat Cincinnati on Saturday to maintain their two game lead at the top of the conference. The lone Big East loss for Pittsburgh came on January 24th when the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame downed them. The other loss for the Panthers on the season was to Tennessee, back in early December.
The Panthers rank third in the nation in rebounding, and second in assists. Their leading scorers Ashton Gibbs and Brandon Wannamaker combine for 28.6 of the 77.7 they score as a team. Wannamaker leads the team in assists, as he is averaging nearly 5.5 per game.
West Virginia/Pittsburgh Pick and Prediction
Anytime you get two Big East teams together on a Monday Night, the game is a fun, tight one. These two teams are bitter rivals, as their state boundaries touch. Bob Huggins is never fun around anyone, especially coming off a loss.
Look for the Mountaineers to play well at home, in front of their home fans. They will certainly mix up their defensive looks to try to slow the Panthers down offensively. The Mountaineers are actually favored in this game. West Virginia is -1 for the game. When it’s all said and done – the home team, West Virginia gets it done and upsets Pittsburgh.
Our pick – West Virginia -1. Bet the Mountaineers at Iasbet!
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