Georgetown Hoyas (19-8 SU, 12-11 ATS) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (22-6 SU, 11-16 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Monday, March 1, 2010, WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, W.V. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Georgetown +6/West Virginia -6
The Georgetown Hoyas are an enigma. Last season, the team went from a top-10 team in January to missing the NCAA tournament barely even finishing above .500 for the season. This season, the Hoyas can’t seem to win more than two games in a row, they can beat the elite teams, but they can’t beat the mediocre teams, even at home. They are ranked in the top 15 but are only 9-7 in conference play. It’s difficult to tell exactly how good or bad this Georgetown team is. It plays up and down to its competition.
Then, there’s the West Virginia Mountaineers, a team that at one point looked like a possible No. 1 seed. But since a 70-51 win over Pitt on February 3, the Mountaineers really haven’t played all that well. They were trailing by double digits in the first half at St. John’s before destroying the Red Storm in the second half for a 19-point victory. Then, they lost two in a row to Villanova and Pitt. The Mountaineers had an 18-point lead at the half at Providence before allowing the Friars to make a run and get back into the game early in the second half before WVU won by 14. The Mountaineers won by 12 at home over Seton Hall but failed to make a single field goal in the final nine minutes of the game. Next, they lost at UConn by 11.
In their last game, the Mountaineers trailed by double digits at home to Cincinnati on Saturday before rallying down the stretch for a 74-68 victory. Four WVU players scored in double figures, led by Kevin Jones’ 15 points. Devin Ebanks had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Darryl Bryant scored 14 points, and Wellington Smith added 10 points and seven rebounds. The Mountaineers shot 43 percent from the field and 7-for-19 on 3-pointers and out-rebounded Cincy by 11. Cincy shot 39 percent from the field and 9-for-21 on 3-pointers.
Georgetown has earned victories over Pitt, Duke and Villanova, but has also lost to Old Dominion, South Florida, Rutgers and Notre Dame, three of which came at home. The Hoyas are 6-3 this season against ranked opponents, including a 2-2 mark on the road. They are 6-1 after a loss with their averaging margin of victory in those six wins being more than 10 points and their only loss after a loss coming to Syracuse.
In their last game, the Hoyas lost 78-64 at home to Notre Dame on Saturday. Four Hoyas scored in double figures, led by Greg Monroe’s 15 points. Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark each scored 12 points, and Chris Wright added 10. The Hoyas shot 51 percent from the field and 8-for-18 from 3-point range. Then, how did the Hoyas lose by 14 after shooting that well? They allowed Notre Dame to shoot 57 percent from the field and 8-for-22 on 3-pointers, and they got out-rebounded by 11 and only grabbed a grand total of 15 rebounds in the entire game. West Virginia is a very good rebounding team, so the Hoyas better crash the boards much better than they did against Notre Dame and they better play much better defense against the Mountaineers.
Georgetown is about even in conference play in rebound margin, while West Virginia is +6. West Virginia is committing fewer turnovers per game in conference play and forcing more turnovers. The Hoyas have the better offense but the Mountaineers have the better defense. The Hoyas are shooting 49.5 percent from the field in conference play. They are also shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. Both teams are defending the 3-point line at 34 percent, the same percentage the Mountaineers are shooting from downtown.
The Hoyas are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss but 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a double-digit home loss. The under is 4-0 in Georgetown’s last four road games and 3-0-1 in the last four meetings between these teams at West Virginia.
Ryno’s Pick: I expect the Mountaineers to win and cover the point spread.