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First Round Picks & Odds: Morehead State vs. West Virginia Predictions

NCAA Tournament handicapper Brandon Hurley is back with his expert pick for Morehead State vs. West Virginia at March Madness
Brandon Hurley
Fri, March 19, 6:08 AM EDT

NCAA Tournament Picks

Morehead State Eagles at West Virginia Mountaineers

Morehead State is ranked 212th on offense and 70th on defense, per KenPom. West Virginia is ranked 11th on offense and 63rd on defense. Morehead State is 19-1 in their last 20 games and they win games by playing very good defense and slowing the pace to a crawl. West Virginia is the more talented team, but Morehead State does hold some statistical advantages. Morehead State ranks 84th in 2 point shooting %, while WVU ranks 239th defending the 2. Also, Morehead State ranks 65th in Defensive Rebounding %, while WVU ranks 286th in this category. WVU shoots a ton of jump shots and this hurts their shooting efficiency. WVU ranks 227th in Offense Effective FG %, while Morehead State ranks 87th in this category.

As long as Morehead State can beat the press and take care of the ball this game will be close. Bob Huggins has said all year that WVU needs to be better defensively and has criticized their offensive decision making at times. Morehead State has a recipe for a potential upset. They are a very good defensive team, they rebound, and they play slow. The slow play will limit the amount of WVU fast breaks and force them into taking contested jump shots in the half court offense. As the stats show, this is bad news for WVU. Once Morehead State gets into their half court offense, look for them to pound the ball inside to 6’10 Freshman big man Johni Broome. Look for Morehead State to clamp down on defense and cover the +13 Friday night. I wouldn’t even be shocked to see this game come down to the wire. Best of luck!

The Pick: Morehead State +13 @ -110

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March Madness Expert Picks

Morehead State +13 @ -110 (Click To Bet)

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