Morgantown, West Virginia – After beating Kansas State, West Virginia will now advance to play the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks in the second round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
It’s March. The Mountaineers have nothing to lose. No one expects them to win.
This is an absolutely perfect opportunity for a massive, season-changing upset.
West Virginia (16-16) is currently a 10 point underdog against Kansas (25-6) due to the Mountaineers not coming close to Kansas in their two meetings this season and West Virginia’s overall subpar play throughout the season. However, the Big 12 Tournament is a chance to start with a fresh slate and yesterday’s win certainly boosted the Mountaineers’ confidence.
Kansas has a +22 rebounding advantage in the two games against West Virginia this season and that can’t happen again if the Mountaineers are going to be competitive today. In addition, West Virginia shot 53% from the field in the opening round against Kansas State and they’ll need another similar shooting performance to beat the Jayhawks.
Although the Mountaineers are playing on less than 24 hours rest and have played poorly against Kansas this season, this is a game that West Virginia must win in order to earn an NIT berth. In addition, if they win today, their path to potentially playing in the NCAA Tournament becomes dramatically easier.
Despite West Virginia’s poor performance throughout the season, this feels like a game they need to win and David McCormack, the Jayhawks’ All Big 12 second team selection, may or may not play due to injury. If McCormack doesn’t play, that will go a long way in evening out the rebounding difference between the two teams and give West Virginia a real chance to pull a massive upset.
WVU 62 Kansas 57
The game starts at 3:00PM and will be televised live on ESPN.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Kansas: G Christian Braun, G Dajuan Harris Jr., F Jalen Wilson, G Ochai Agbaji, F David McCormack.
West Virginia: G, G Sean McNeil, G Kedrian Johnson, F Jalen Bridges, F Gabe Osabuohein.