The Gonzaga Bulldogs and West Virginia Mountaineers weren’t originally scheduled to meet on Wednesday night, but things changed nearly a week ago. West Virginia was scheduled to play the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday, but Tennessee had to pull out due to COVID-19 concerns.
It was a game West Virginia was looking forward to, especially coming off the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic tournament. Knowing they had the break in the schedule, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins quickly called ESPN to see if they could squeeze the Mountaineers into the Jimmy V Classic.
And that’s exactly what happened. No. 11-ranked West Virginia is now pitted against the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. It’s setting up to be a powerful matchup between two college basketball powerhouses, with both teams entering the contest undefeated and hot.
Will the Mountaineers continue their hot streak?
The Mountaineers are coming off an impressive three-game stretch at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic. They played on three consecutive days, winning all three games to win the tournament. They scored over 70 points in all three matchups, starting the year 3-0.
West Virginia is led by Miles McBride, who’s averaging 16.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game. Derek Culver adds 15.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, while Sean McNeil chips in 13.7 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Can the Bulldogs avoid an upset?
The Bulldogs are 2-0 to start the year, putting on impressive offensive displays in both matchups. As a team, they’re averaging 96.0 points per game while allowing 78.5 points per contest. They only average 2.0 blocks per game but come in clutch with 7.5 steals per game.
Gonzaga is led by Drew Timme, who’s averaging 26.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. Forward Corey Kispert is having a productive season as well. He’s averaging 24.0 points and 5.0 rebounds, while guard Jalen Suggs chips in 18.0 points and 7.0 assists per game.
Betting Odds & Lines
Who do you think walks away victorious in this year’s Jimmy V Classic between the Mountaineers and Bulldogs? FanDuel Sportsbook has the Gonzaga Bulldogs as 7.5-point favorites over the West Virginia Mountaineers. It also has the over/under listed at 153.5 total points.
Free Betting Pick
The Jimmy V Classic is going to be an action-packed double-header for college basketball fans. The No. 11 Mountaineers and No. 1 Bulldogs start things off at 7 pm ET on ESPN. Both teams enter this game undefeated and on fire this season, but only one will leave that way.
I think the Bulldogs are simply too powerful on offense. It’ll be difficult for the Mountaineers to stick with them for 40 minutes. They’ll need a strong defensive game, which is possible for them but unlikely against this Gonzaga team.
Final Score Prediction: 89-77, Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Pick: Gonzaga Bulldogs (-7.5)