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Game Thread: Virginia vs. Iowa State

What: Virginia Cavaliers (8-4, 1-0 ACC) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (11-2, 0-0 Big XII)

Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
Date: Thursday, December 30, 2010
Place: John Paul Jones Arena
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network

Spread: Vegas: Virginia -3. Pomeroy: Iowa State -3
Last Meeting: Dec. 6, 2004, Iowa State 81, Virginia 79
Last Time Out: Iowa State 104, Chicago State 63

It's an 11-2 team. Looks like the writing's on the wall, right? Not so fast. The Cyclones might be 11-2, but they've only played three games away from home, all three of which were within the state of Iowa. Coincidentally, those are really the only three games on their schedule so far of any significance, and the Clones are 2-1, with a 91-88 win over Creighton, 54-60 loss to Northern Iowa, and a 75-72 win over rival Iowa.

I don't think I need to rehash Virginia's brutal road schedule to date.

After a sluggish losing effort to Seattle before the players' winter break, Virginia is looking to right the ship tonight against a young Iowa State team. It will be key for Virginia to get to the foul line as often as possible - the Cyclones have only 10 available players who will need to stay out of foul trouble. This means Virginia can and should go hard at the glass to get rebounds, something the 'Hoos have not done much of on the offensive end (though Virginia ranks No. 1 in the nation in defensive rebound percentage).

Bigger news is the return of Will Sherrill, who likely won't get the starting nod, but hopefully will be able to put in some serious playing time. Sherrill, after sparking the big comeback against No. 13 Minnesota, left the game and has been out since with a fractured fibula.

Iowa State's Probable Starters

F Jamie Vanderbeken Sr. 9.8 ppg 5.2 rpg 1.4 apg
F Melvin Ejim Fr. 13.1 ppg 6.8 rpg 1.2 apg
G Jake Anderson Sr.
11.8 ppg
8.5 rpg 3.2 apg
Scott Christopherson Jr.
15.2 ppg 3.2 rpg 2.2 apg
Diante Garrett Sr. 17.2 ppg 3.7 rpg 6.0 apg

The man to look out for tonight is Scott Christopherson, who leads the Big XII and ranks fifth nationally in 3-point percentage (52.4%). He has made a three in each of the last 16 consecutive games, tying for the third-best streak in Iowa State history.

Another major player is experienced senior Diante Garrett, who is just six assists away from being just the third Iowa State player in school history to have reached 1,000 points and 500 assists. He has scored in double digits every game so far this year.

Also watch out for Jamie Vanderbeken - he might be a 6'11 forward/center, but he shoots the ball with the best of them. He is currently third in school history in three-point shooting percentage at 42.1% (69-164 FGs)

This is the final game for Virginia in the 2010 calendar year. Virginia has won its final game of the calendar for the past twelve consecutive years.

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