College football odds, picks for Week 14 in Big 12: Iowa State can make history Saturday vs. West Virginia

First impressions are important, but they aren’t permanent. As Iowa State sits on the verge of clinching a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game, I think back to its season-opening loss to Louisiana as a good example. I wasn’t surprised that the Cyclones lost that game, but my big takeaway was that they weren’t good enough to really make noise in the Big 12 Championship Game race, let alone win it all. 

Boy, was I wrong. 

Let me explain. My rationale was that while the 31-14 score was misleading — the Ragin’ Cajuns had two special teams touchdowns and one explosive 78-yard score — an otherwise evenly-played game was still a problem for Iowa State. Should the Cyclones really be going blow-for-blow with a Sun Belt opponent if they’re going to be one of the two best teams in the Big 12? 

As it turns out, though, Louisiana is pretty damn good, too, and headed towards a Sun Belt title game rematch with Coastal Carolina. The Cyclones were also missing top tight end Charlie Kolar that day. And it was the first game of 2020. Who knows with these teams sometimes?

That’s not to say that the Louisiana loss doesn’t matter now, but not when it comes to the Big 12 race. Iowa State has capitalized on a rare window by beating Oklahoma early in the year when the Sooners were more vulnerable and then inching past Texas over Thanksgiving weekend on a short week. Running back Breece Hall’s “five-star culture vs. five-star players” money quote has become the unofficial M.O. of the Cyclones’ 2020 season. Coach Matt Campbell has almost always had his team ready to play big games, but this is the first time the Cyclones have topped the Sooners and Longhorns in the same year. 

Iowa State has clinched at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title, but hasn’t won a conference championship since 1912. To be clear, there’s still some work to be done before it can break that streak. But the Cyclones, ranked No. 9 in the latest College Football Playoff poll, are in good position to do that. It starts with the final regular-season game against West Virginia. Speaking of which …  

Picks

West Virginia at No. 9 Iowa State

Latest Odds:

Cyclones
-6.5

I’m not particularly worried that the Cyclones will look toward the end zone before catching the ball, if you catch my drift. This is a good defensive battle and the score should reflect that. If taking the under on the 49.5 point total is your thing, I don’t think it’s a bad play. The key for me is that while West Virginia’s offense has been better, it’s mostly been better at home against so-so competition. Conversely, it hasn’t traveled well and the Mountaineers would need to prove otherwise for me to ride with them. Pick: Iowa State -6.5

No. 15 Oklahoma State at TCU 

You smell that? We have a stinky line in Fort Worth,

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First Look: University of Virginia Cavaliers

Boston College (6-4) plays in their season finale on Saturday against the University of Virginia (4-4) in Charlottesville. Bronco Mendenhall’s squad will look to make it four in a row after winning against Louisville, UNC and Abilene Christian. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 6.54.59 AM

Statistical Leaders

Passing: Brennan Armstrong, 113-195 1571 yards 15 TD 8 interceptions

Rushing: Armstrong 399 yards, 4 TD,  RB Wayne Taulapapa 366 yards 4 TD, RB Shane Simpson 237 yards 2 TD

Receiving: RB Billy Kemp 52 rec 517 yards 1 TD, WR Terrell Jana 32 rec 392 yards 1 TD, WR Lavel Davis Jr. 14 rec 370 yards 4 TD, TE Tony Poljan 30 rec 300 yards 5 TD

Tackles: LB Nick Jackson 85 total, LB Zane Zandier 67 total, DB D’angelo Amos 46 total

Tackles for Loss: LB Charles Snowden 10, LB Noah Taylor 7, Zandier 7, Jackson 5

Sacks: Snowden 6, DL Jowon Briggs 3, Taylor 3,  LB Matt Gahm 3

Interceptions: DB Brenton Nelson 2, six other players have one. 

*****

Head Coach

Bronco Mendenhall is in his fifth season with the Cavaliers, compiling a 29-31 record. However, he has found recent success, winning the ACC Coastal in 2019 and before losing to Clemson and losing in the Orange Bowl. Before his time in Charlottesville, Mendenhall was a defensive back at Oregon State, the same school that gave him his start in coaching. He also spent time coaching DBs at New Mexico and Louisiana Tech before becoming the defensive coordinator at BYU. He took over the head coaching spot for the Cougars in 2005 where he remained until 2015, leaving with a 99-43 record. 

Offensive Overview

Robert Anae is the offensive coordinator for the Cavaliers, after joining Mendenhall after the pair left BYU. A name that was bantered about for numerous positions this offseason including the OC job at Miami and head coach job at Hawaii, Awae had his best season in 2019, as the Cavaliers finished 8th in the conference in total offense.

The biggest strength according to Anae? The offensive line.

“We have spent four years recruiting and developing our offensive line and going into this season, we’re at the best spot in that regard,” Anae said. “One with depth, so there’s going to be competition for the guys up front, and No. 2, for the most part they now have a couple years of experience of doing what they’re doing. I think with those two things the run game will have a bright prospect.”

Defensive Overview

Nick Howell is in his fourth season as defensive coordinator, and like Anae is connected to Mendenhall from their time at BYU. Like Jeff Hafley was last year Howell also coaches the defensive backs. Head coach Mendenhall talked about the defense before the season

“The expectation is for them to be better than last year’s defense from Game 1 all the way through Game 13 or Game 14 or however many — 12 — whatever the season calls for this year, as many as we can possibly play,” head

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College basketball: No 3 Iowa routs Western Illinois; No. 7 Kansas, No. 16 Virginia Tech win

Luka Garza scored 35 points, 30 in the first half, and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 3 Iowa stayed unbeaten with a 99-58 win over Western Illinois on Thursday night.

Jack Nunge, playing his first game this season following the death of his father, matched his career high with 18 points for Iowa (3-0). Joe Wieskamp added 11 points and Patrick McCaffery scored 10 for the Hawkeyes.

Garza reached 30 points in the first half for the second consecutive game. He had 36 by halftime of last Friday’s 103-76 victory over Southern.

It was the 19th straight game of 20 points or more for Garza, the lone unanimous selection on The Associated Press preseason All-America team.

No. 7 Kansas 89, Washburn 54

David McCormack scored 17 points, Ochai Agbaji added 16 and Jalen Wilson had 12, helping seventh-ranked Kansas cruise past Washburn in the Jayhawks’ long-delayed home opener.

Kansas (3-1) had opened with a pair of games in Florida and beat Kentucky in Indianapolis before returning to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse. Players sat apart from each other, much like they have at other venues, and the recent surge in positive coronavirus cases forced school officials to limit attendance to a couple hundred staff and family members.

Washburn (3-1), coached by former Jayhawks guard and Bill Self assistant Brett Ballard, wasn’t rattled in the opening minutes. Levi Braun hit a trio of early 3s, Jonny Clausing bulled his way to a couple easy baskets, and the Ichabods managed to hang within 27-22 at the under-8 timeout of the first half.

McCormack and Wilson began to be too much, though.

Braun and Tyler Geiman led the Ichabods with nine points apiece. Clausing finished with eight.

No. 16 Virginia Tech 64, VMI 57

Keve Aluma had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Virginia Tech won its 34th consecutive nonconference game at home.

Tyrece Radford added 13 points and Justyn Mutts had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hokies (4-0). They led 30-23 at halftime and used a 9-0 run in the second half to take control. Radford had five points in the burst, including a three-point play to finish it.

Myles Lewis had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead VMI (2-2). Greg Parham added 12 points.

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College basketball: No. 1 Gonzaga beats No. 11 West Virginia in Jimmy V Classic

Joel Ayayi matched his career high with 21 points and Andrew Nembhard and Corey Kispert each had 19, and No. 1 Gonzaga rallied to beat No. 11 West Virginia 87-82 on Wednesday night in the Jimmy V Classic.

The Bulldogs (3-0) struggled to get in sync early and again after freshman Jalen Suggs injured an ankle in the first half. But Gonzaga used a late 13-4 run to take control and scored six straight points late to seal it.

Derek Culver led West Virginia (3-1) with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Oscar Tshiebwe had 14 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 7:26 to play. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak and dropped the Mountaineers to 0-5 in the series.

This did not look like the same Gonzaga team that won two shootouts last week.

The shooters struggled early and just when it seemed they were about get on track, Suggs slid through the lane, hurting his left ankle. He stayed on the ground for several minutes and needing help to reach his chair.

West Virginia took advantage of the momentum swing with a 14-3 run that gave it a 33-24 lead late in the first half.

When Suggs returned in the second half, Gonzaga charged back. It retook the lead on Kispert’s layup with 9:46 to play and seized control with Kispert and Ajayi combining for nine points in the decisive run.

No. 2 Baylor 82, No. 5 Illinois 69

Adam Flagler scored 18 points and Baylor pulled away late to beat Illinois in the second game of the Jimmy V Classic.

Baylor (3-0) won for the first time this season with coach Scott Drew on the sideline. He missed the previous two games after a positive COVID-19 test, but watched his team swing the game with its trademark defense in the second half.

Ayo Dosunmu had 18 points and Giorgi Beshanishvili added 15 for Illinois (3-1).

Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua started the decisive stretch by making two free throws with 12:51 left. That broke a 43-all tie and spurred Baylor to six straight points. After Illinois made a 3-pointer, Baylor scored five more points and then took control with another run, this time 9-0.

When it ended, Baylor led 65-51 with 7:31 left and the Illini never seriously challenged again.

No. 17 Texas 69, No. 14 North Carolina 67

Matt Coleman III hit a stepback jumper with 0.1 seconds left to lift Texas past North Carolina in the championship game of the relocated Maui Invitational.

Coleman finished with 22 points and was the tournament’s most valuable player.

The Longhorns (4-0) blew a 16-point lead late in the first half and fell behind with about 2 1/2 minutes left. Coleman and Kai Jones came up big in the critical moments for Texas, securing the Longhorns’ first Maui title in their fifth appearance in the tournament.

Jones had 12 points, including a tying jumper with 2:19 left and then a transition dunk with 41.2 seconds remaining that gave Texas

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Weekly Kickoff: University of Virginia

On Saturday, Boston College concludes what could be the most challenging season the school has ever faced. In a year marked by COVID-19 outbreaks, game cancellations and player opt outs, the Eagles could end this season one of, if not the only program in FBS to not have an outbreak or case on the team. Every week, the results come back from the testing, and every week the Eagles remain negative.

It’s a testament to the toughness, sacrifice and dedication of this team, and a shining example of the leadership the new staff has brought to Chestnut Hill. Before we get into the game itself, it’s worth reflecting on the incredible effort this entire program has put into making sure this season happens, safely.

But there is one more game on the schedule, the University of Virginia. Bronco Mendenhall’s squad sits at a quiet 4-4, but don’t sleep on the Cavaliers. This is a team that beat the University of North Carolina, outgunning them 44-41. They can put up points, averaging 31 points a game behind a balanced offense led by southpaw sophomore quarterback Brennan Armstrong. 

However, like Louisville they have an achilles heel, their pass defense. Ranked dead last in the conference, the Cavaliers have allowed 289 yards per game through the air. Like Louisville they turn the ball over a lot as well, with 16 on the season. However, unlike the Cardinals they are more opportunistic on defense, grabbing 14 turnovers themselves, including two pick sixes. 

In terms of matchups, UVA is a perfect end of the season matchup for the Eagles. The two teams are fairly evenly matched, which should lead to a compelling game. The biggest question heading into this week of course concerns the health of quarterback Phil Jurkovec. If he can play, Boston College should be favorites heading into this game, but his status remains unknown (and don’t expect Jeff Hafley to tip his hand before the game). 

With a win Boston College could match their seven win total, a number that became a running joke for expectations out of previous regime. However, this seven wins would seem like much more an accomplishment. First the Eagles did it in the midst of a pandemic, secondly six of the wins came against ACC opponents. But first they have to take care of the Cavaliers. Stick with BC Bulletin for full coverage. 

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking “Follow” on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:

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Virginia plummets, Hokies rise in AP’s Week 2 college hoops Top 25 poll

UVA plummets, Hokies rise in AP’s latest college hoops Top 25 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Virginia Tech jumped 10 spots and Richmond received a ranking for the first time in 11 seasons Monday, when the Associated Press released its Top 25 mens college basketball poll for Week 2.

The biggest drop of the week belonged to Virginia, which fell 11 spots from No. 4 down to 15th after being upset by San Francisco 61-60 on Friday. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is off to a 3-0 start to the season, including an 81-73 win over No. 3 Villanova in overtime on Saturday. The Wildcats dropped to No. 12 following the loss.

However, the biggest story of the weekend amid a weekend full of upsets may belong to Richmond of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Spiders took down No. 10 Kentucky 76-64 on Sunday to earn a spot in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2009-10 season, when they finished the year ranked No. 24 in the country. The defeat dropped Kentucky down 10 spots to No. 20 ahead of its Tuesday matchup against No. 7 Kansas.

Around the mid-Atlantic region, West Virginia climbed four spots to No. 11 behind a 3-0 start while Maryland received nine votes toward the poll also at 3-0. 

Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 for the second-straight week after receiving 57 of 63 first-place votes. The remaining six went to Baylor, which retained its spot at No. 2. Rounding out the top five was a trio of Big Ten teams in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, respectively.

Here is the full AP Top 25 for Week 2:

1. Gonzaga (2-0)

2. Baylor (2-0)

3. Iowa (2-0)

4. Wisconsin (2-0)

5. Illinois (3-0)

6. Duke (1-0)

7. Kansas (1-1)

8. Michigan State (2-0)

9. Creighton (1-0)

10. Houston (3-0)

11. West Virginia (3-0)

12. Villanova (2-1)

13. Tennessee (0-0)

14. North Carolina (1-0)

15. Virginia (1-1)

16. Virginia Tech (3-0)

17. Texas (1-0)

18. Texas Tech (2-1)

19. Richmond (2-0)

20. Kentucky (1-1)

21. Oregon (0-0)

22. Florida State (0-0)

23. Ohio State (2-0)

24. Rutgers (3-0)

25. Arizona State (2-1)

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College basketball rankings: Virginia plummets in Top 25 And 1 after San Francisco pulls off upset

top25and1-virginia.jpg
Johnnie Izquierdo / Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

No ranked team had a more different first two games than Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers. On Wednesday, they opened with an 89-54 blowout of Towson in which they made 15 of the 29 3-pointers they attempted. Looked great. But then, on Friday, they suffered a 61-60 loss to San Francisco in which they missed nine of the 12 3-pointers they attempted. Looked terrible.

“[We have to] look in the mirror [and] grow from it,” Bennett told reporters after Friday’s loss.

The good news is that if there’s any program built to do exactly that, it’s probably the one that in 2018 became the first No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed before bouncing back in 2019 and winning the NCAA Tournament. In other words, I’m not concerned about Virginia’s ability to bounce back. But the loss to San Francisco really did change the entire conversation about the Cavaliers after an awesome season-opening victory.

It wasn’t just that they won their first game by 35 points. It was how they won their first game by 35 points — specifically by shooting better than 50% from 3-point range on 29 attempts. The morning after that performance, I suggested that if Virginia is suddenly a great 3-point shooting team like it was two seasons ago, as opposed to a terrible 3-point shooting team like it was last season, the Cavaliers would be a real threat to win what would be back-to-back national championships. Then, just one day later, Virginia shot 25% from beyond the arc and lost to a San Francisco team that opened with a loss to UMass Lowell.

Incredible.

As for what it means for the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1, loyal readers might remember that a few years back I implemented an automatic 10-spot drop for obviously good teams that take terrible losses early in the season. It’s the best way to punish while not overreacting to one surprising result and dropping somebody from the top 10 to completely out. So the Cavaliers are falling from No. 4 in Friday morning’s Top 25 And 1 to No. 14 in Saturday morning’s Top 25 And 1 and thus remain in the top 15. But if they take another confusing loss any time soon, needless to say, they’ll have to go.

Itching for more college hoops analysis? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

 

Chg

Rcrd


1


Gonzaga

Drew Timme finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds in Friday’s 90-67 victory over Auburn. Both of Gonzaga’s victories are double-digit wins over power-conference schools. 2-0

2


Baylor

The Bears are returning the top three scorers from a team that would’ve been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s among the reasons Scott Drew has an opportunity to
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College basketball: San Francisco knocks off No. 4 Virginia, 61-60

San Francisco’s Josh Kunen, left, is guarded by Virginia’s Justin McKoy during Friday’s game in Uncasville, Conn. Jessica Hill/Associated Press

 

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — San Francisco shocked No. 4 Virginia on Friday, scoring the biggest upset of the young college basketball season and the program’s biggest win in decades.

Jamaree Bouyea scored 19 points and the Dons used a late 8-0 run to beat the Cavaliers 61-60 in the Homelight Classic, part of the “Bubbleville” event at the Mohegan Sun arena in Connecticut.

Khalil Shabazz added 14 points and Taavi Jurkatamm had two big 3-pointers in the second half for USF (2-1), which was playing its third game in three days.

“For us to be able to compete like this on a national stage, on national TV, against one of the winningest programs in the country, this is a big, big step for our program,” said Todd Golden, the Dons’ 35-year-old coach.

Reece Beekman and Justin McCoy each scored 11 points for Virginia (1-1), a 15 1/2-point favorite. Marquette transfer Sam Hauser added 10 points, but missed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left that would have won the game for the Cavaliers.

“Look at it in the mirror, grow from it,” Virginia Coach Tony Bennett said. “We’ve got to kind of harden up. We’ve got to get gritty. We’ve got to be tougher to score against and be the best version of ourselves.”

Virginia led by three points at halftime and scored the first four points of the second half to take a 28-21 lead. But San Francisco went on an 11-0 run from there.

There were 11 lead changes and five ties in the game as neither team could get much separation.

(1) GONZAGA 90, AUBURN 67: Drew Timme had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Corey Kispert scored 25 points and top-ranked Gonzaga (2-0) cruised past Auburn in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers (Florida) Tip-Off.

Timme, who left the game with about eight minutes remaining, went 11 of 16 from the field. Kispert made four 3-pointers. Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga’s highest-rated recruit, added 12 points and six assists.

Allen Flanigan scored 20 points to lead Auburn (1-1), which is replacing five starters from last season.

(6) KANSAS 94, SAINT JOSEPH’S 72: Christian Braun scored 30 points and No. 6 Kansas pulled away from Saint Joseph’s in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers (Florida) Tip-Off.

Braun made 10 of 13 shots, hit five 3-pointers and added nine rebounds. Ochai Agbaji, whose foul trouble proved costly in a 102-90 loss to No. 1 Gonzaga, added 18 points. Jalen Wilson had 14 for the Jayhawks (1-1).

Jack Forrest had 18 points for Saint Joseph’s (0-2). Ryan Daly and Dahmir Bishop added 14 for the Hawks.

(8) ILLINOIS 77, OHIO 75: Ayo Dosunmu scored 24 points, Kofi Cockburn had 13 points and 11 rebounds and No. 8 Illinois rallied to beat Ohio at Champaihn, Illinois.

It was Cockburn’s 15th double-double in 35 games for Illinois (3-0). Jason Preston scored 31 points for Ohio (2-1). Ben Vander

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No. 4 Virginia goes down as a huge favorite vs. San Francisco

It’s not quite losing to a 16 seed in March Madness, but Virginia was dealt the first major upset of the college basketball season.

Virginia, ranked No. 4, was a double-digit favorite over San Francisco. USF had already lost 76-68 to UMass Lowell this season.

And San Francisco ended up with the upset. The Dons won 61-60, with Virginia missing a 3-pointer in the final seconds. At least those who bet Virginia as a big favorite knew for a long time they had no chance to cover.

Virginia was a big favorite

Virginia was between a 14- and 15.5-point favorite at various sportsbooks before the game. It happened on a Friday morning with college football games going on, so the game at Mohegan Sun Casino probably didn’t get a lot of betting attention. It got interesting when USF had a lead after halftime and kept it for most of the second half.

San Francisco started very slowly but was able to get hot from 3. The Dons hit 13-of-28 3-point shots, a huge factor in the win. Virginia has its famous packline defense that strangles anything inside the line, so a team like USF needs to hit some threes to win.

Of course, the upset loss brought back some bad memories for Virginia, which was the first No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history to lose in the first round. Of course, they won an NCAA championship the next season and technically are still defending champs.



a man holding a basketball: San Francisco's Khalil Shabazz, center, watches his 3-point basket go in against Virginia. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)


© Provided by Yahoo! Sports
San Francisco’s Khalil Shabazz, center, watches his 3-point basket go in against Virginia. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

USF hit key shots

The Cavaliers were one of the four clear favorites to win the title going into the season at BetMGM. They finished last season strong, always play good defense and were expected to be better on offense with pieces like newcomer Sam Hauser, a Marquette transfer.

Part of Virginia’s slow-tempo, defense-first style is they’ll find themselves in close games more often than not. Then if a team like USF can string together some big 3-pointers, it’ll be in danger of losing to an inferior team.

The season is young and Virginia should be just fine. But if you expected some chaos during this weird college basketball season, you have one large upset just three days into it.

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Gonzaga beats Kansas in season opener, Illinois defeats Chicago State, VCU falls to West Virginia

NO. 1 GONZAGA 102, NO. 6 KANSAS 90

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Drew Timme scored 25 points, Jalen Suggs added 24 and Corey Kispert had 23 to help No. 1 Gonzaga beat No. 6 Kansas 102-90 on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

The Bulldogs built a double-digit lead in the first half at the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, then saw the Jayhawks tie it twice in the second half before putting them away. Gonzaga went on a 22-7 run to go up 96-78.

Suggs, who got in foul trouble in the first half, scored 17 of his 24 in the second half.

Marcus Garrett led Kansas with 22 points, and Ochai Agbaji added 17 points. Agbai picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half, which hurt the Jayhawks. When he left, Kansas trailed 70-67.

The Jayhawks rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half to tie it at 57.

On Friday, Gonzaga will play Auburn, and Kansas will face St. Joseph’s.

NO. 8 ILLINOIS 97, CHICAGO STATE 38

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ayo Dosunmu scored 22 points, freshman Andres Curbelo added 18 and Illinois routed Chicago State.

The Illini (2-0) scored the first nine points and led 47-17 at halftime. They will host Ohio in the third round of the multi-team event Friday before facing No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday.

Adam Miller added 15 points and Kofi Cockburn finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois shot 60% from the field.

Xavier Johnson led Chicago State (0-2) with 10 points. Chicago State coach Lance Irvin has opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Assistant Rodell Davis is coaching the team in Irvin’s absence.

NO. 15 WEST VIRGINIA 78, VCU 66

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Derek Culver had 23 points and 15 rebounds to help No. 15 West Virginia beat VCU 78-66 in the Bad Boys Mowers Crossover Classic semifinals.

West Virginia (2-0) will face Western Kentucky in the final Friday.

Culver rebounded from a seven-point game Wednesday night in the Mountaineers’ opening victory over South Dakota State, finishing two shy of his career high. He was 8 of 14 from the field.

Sean McNeil added 16 points, and Oscar Tshiebwe had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Nah’Shon Hyland led the Rams (1-1) with 13 points.

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