West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas Jayhawks -Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/8/14
Kansas Jayhawks (23-7) at West Virginia Mountaineers (16-14)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm (WVU Colliseum)
The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers +4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: West Virginia welcomes 8th-ranked Kansas Saturday as the two wrap up their regular season campaigns.
The Breakdown: WVU dropped to 8-9 for 6th place in the Big 12 after suffering a 72-62 loss to Oklahoma Wednesday. Junior G Juwan Staten scored a game-high 24 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists, freshman F Devin Williams had 14 points and 12 boards, and junior G Gary Browne added 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. The Mountaineers shot 42.2 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from outside the arc to the Sooners’ 41.8 percent from the floor and 36.7 from distance. WVU came away with a slight 39-37 advantage on the glass, but converted just 4 of 10 from the free throw line. Through 30 games, the Mountaineers are averaging 78.0 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting. Staten leads the team with 18.2 ppg, followed by sophomore G Eron Harris at 17.6 ppg.
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Meanwhile, Kansas improved to 14-3 in the conference after routing Texas Tech 82-57 Wednesday behind another accurate shooting performance. The Jayhawks shot 51.9 percent from the floor and connected on 7 of 21 from outside the arc to the Red Raiders’ 35.3 percent from the floor and 3 of 14 from distance. Kansas finished with a narrow 34-33 rebounding edge and converted 21 of 29 from the free throw line. Senior F Tarik Black scored a game-high 19 points on a perfect 9 of 9 from the field, junior G Naadir Tharpe had 16 points and 5 assists off the bench, and sophomore F Perry Eliis added 13 points and 5 boards. On the season, the Jayhawks are averaging 79.4 ppg on 49.8 percent shooting. Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads the team with 16.0 ppg, followed by Ellis at 13.2 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is set at -4 for Kansas. The Jayhawks scored a 14-point victory over WVU at Allen Fieldhouse a month ago, shooting a lights-out 54.9 percent from the floor, while stifling the Mountaineers to 39.6 percent shooting. Kansas will be without big man Joel Embiid, but look for them to cover anyway.