Update: I took Uconn at pk yesterday for those who missed it. Looks like the line is currently -2.5 at Pinnacle.
3-15-2012 Gonzaga vs West Virginia (+1)
I like West Virginia in this game for a few reasons. I feel like they are the tougher team and will out rebound Gonzaga, especially on the offensive end. The Big East has been a little under rated this year, just look at what USF did to Cal. WV not only played a Big East schedule but their out of conference schedule was very tough too with road games at Baylor and K.St. In other words, West Va has big game experience and even though they are young, their best player (Kevin Jones) is a senior. Extended TV timeouts for tournament games is an advantage for WV bc it will allow them to keep Jones on the floor for more minutes. Gonzaga's coach has said they will focus on stopping Jones but that is easier said than done as he gets so many of his points off of offensive rebounds.
West Va has been such an up and down team and a lot of that has to do with the inconsistency of Truck Bryant. One game he will score 30 points and be the best player on the court and the next he will make 4 'not top ten' plays and finish with 6 points and an early hook from Huggins. However, Truck is a senior and has tournament experience, I don't have the numbers in front of me but his stats in NCAA tournament games have been very good. If he has a good game Gonzaga can't win.
If Gonzaga gets hot and Pangos makes shots Gonzaga will have a chance in this game, but Pangos is a freshman and Huggins will game plan for him. Also, this game is in Pittsburgh which is only an hour from Morgantown, while Gonzaga had to travel across the country.
I think when all is said and done WV will just be too physical for Gonzaga. I'm not putting too much stock in watching line movements for this game as each team has been around a 1 point favorite and it seems like sharps are just trying to get both teams at plus money. This will be a hard fought game for sure but I like WV to advance and cover.
The Pick: West Virginia +1
gl dub got this at +1 now at - 1
Gl to you as well, I see WV is now -2
Season Recap: I picked 18 games ats for the season and went 8-10 (44.4%). I am not using this as an excuse but WV was one of the most inconsistent teams this year and was really hard to get a handle on in terms of betting. Seemed liked whenever sharp money was on them they wouldn't come close to covering. Even though they are losing their best player (Kevin Jones) I believe they will be better next season. I will be posting thoughts on the team here during the offseason and hopefully I will have a better record next year.