West Virginia at Kansas
|Date & Time||Friday March 15, 2019, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
Kansas City, MO
Kansas Jayhawks -10.5 -- Over/Under - 147
The West Virginia Mountaineers and 17th ranked Kansas Jayhawks will square off at the Sprint Center this Friday night in the Semifinals of the Big 12 Men’s Championship.
The 10-seed West Virginia Mountaineers had a one of their toughest seasons in recent memory, however, Bob Huggins and his Mountaineers have seemed to figure something out for the Big 12 Men’s Championship as West Virginia kept their NCAA hopes alive after upsetting the 2-seed Texas Tech Red Raiders, 79-74, on Thursday night. West Virginia had no trouble generating offense against one of the best defenses in College Basketball and held on late after holding a 63-47 lead with 8:33 left in regulation. West Virginia did a great job converting at the FT line as they hit 20 of 22 FT’s (90.9%) and outrebounded Texas Tech by a 44-30 margin in the win. Leading the way for the Mountaineers was Emmitt Matthews Jr. who had 28 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 2 steals.
Coming into their game against Texas Tech, West Virginia was averaging 72.9 ppg on 41.3% shooting from the field. The Mountaineers were averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 31.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, West Virginia has been led by Derek Culver (11.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), Lamont West (10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Wesley Harris (7.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), and Jermaine Haley (6.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.3 apg).
Defensively, West Virginia was allowing their opponents to average 76.6 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field. The Mountaineers have a rebound margin of 4.8 and a turnover margin of -2.5.
The 3-seed Kansas Jayhawks used a big 2nd half against the Texas Longhorns and kept their hopes for back-to-back Big 12 Championships alive after defeating the Longhorns by a 65-57 margin on Friday night. Kansas went into halftime tied at 29-all, however, was able to find success against the Texas defense in the 2nd half after taking a 56-46 lead with 8:51 left in regulation. Kansas held Texas to just 35.7% shooting from the field and outrebounded the Longhorns by a 42-32 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Jayhawks was Devon Dotson was 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal.
Coming into their game agianst Texas, Kansas was averaging 75.6 ppg on 46.4% shooting from the field. The Longhorns were averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Kansas has been led by Dedric Lawson (19.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.1 bpg), Devon Dotson (11.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 spg), Ochai Agbaji (9.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg), and Marcus Garrett (7.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.6 spg).
Defensively, Kansas was allowing their opponents to average 70.1 ppg on 40.7% shooting from the field. The Jayhawks had a rebound margin of 2.0 and a turnover margin of 0.1.
West Virginia and Kansas split their regular season series as the Mountaineers won by a 65-64 margin at home in mid-January while the Jayhawks won at home by a 78-53 margin in mid-February.
The Mountaineers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Friday games.
Both West Virginia & Kansas rosters have dealt with a bunch of issues this season as whether it’s been injuries, suspensions, eligibility, or personal reasons, the starting lineups for both the Mountaineers & Jayhawks are much different than what we expect to see at the beginning of the season and we have to be impressed, especially with the Mountaineers that they’ve made it this far. Kansas is the better team here still, however, the Jayhawks despite being 5-0 on a neutral court this season, was just 3-8 in away games which included a shocking loss at West Virginia. The Mountaineers are playing like a team with nothing to lose and are starting to get some major contributions from their younger players and as I think they’ll be able to deploy a similar game plan that they did against Texas Tech last night, I think West Virginia will be able to do just enough to cover with the points. Good Luck!