Kansas vs. West Virginia Prediction, Game Preview

    Kansas vs. West Virginia prediction and game preview. The Jayhawks try to hand the Mountaineers a third consecutive defeat when they meet in Morgantown.

    January 23, 2017

    Kansas vs. West Virginia prediction and game preview. The Jayhawks try to hand the Mountaineers a third consecutive defeat when they meet in Morgantown.

    Kansas vs. West Virginia Game Preview

    When: Tuesday, Jan. 24 – 7 p.m. ET
    Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN2

    Winning a 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship seems inevitable for Kansas. The Jayhawks suffered their only loss of the season against Indiana in overtime Nov. 11 in Hawaii, and have won 18 in a row since. There was some concern that Kansas wasn’t living up to its potential lately, but it responded with a 79-67 home win over Texas on Saturday behind 17 points and seven assists from Frank Mason III, who is emerging as a national player of the year candidate.

    As the Jayhawks have continued rolling, West Virginia has doubled Kansas’ loss total over the course of four days last week. The Mountaineers suffered a shocking 89-87 overtime home loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday before blowing a 12-point first-half lead in Saturday’s 79-75 loss at Kansas State. They shot a season-low 41.8 percent and committed a season-high 23 turnovers against the Wildcats as Jevon Carter struggled to find a rhythm.

    Kansas Wins If …

    … it protects the ball. That sounds simplistic, but such is the case against a West Virginia team that tries to cause chaos with constant full-court pressure. Oklahoma had only 12 turnovers in its win over the Mountaineers, and Kansas State won the turnover battle Saturday. The Jayhawks had and 18 and 16 giveaways, respectively, in their last two games, two of their highest totals of the season. Putting the ball in Mason’s hands and letting him fight through the pressure is Kansas’ best bet.

    West Virginia Wins If …

    … it frustrates Kansas and takes an early lead. The Mountaineers forced 22 turnovers – seven by Mason – in their home win over Kansas last season when the Jayhawks entered as the nation’s No. 1 team. West Virginia jumped on them early and didn’t let up. It’ll have to make a statement early on, get the crowd involved and keep the foot on the gas.

    The Mountaineers also need to stop settling for threes. They’re shooting 35.6 percent from long range to rank eighth in the 10-team Big 12 and are just 15 for 46 in their back-to-back losses.

    Matchup To Watch

    Mason vs. Carter

    Mason obviously is more talented, but they are pretty similar players. They’re quick, aggressive and frustrate opponents with their hounding style of play. Carter tends to get fired up, and he’s going to be in Mason’s chest as much as possible. This game could hinge on who wins this matchup.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: West Virginia -3
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Kansas vs. West Virginia Prediction

    After West Virginia throttled then-No. 1 Baylor, a three-game losing streak seemed impossible. But that’s exactly the predicament the Mountaineers will find themselves in after this one. Mason and freshman standout Josh Jackson have big games and handle the full-court pressure to pull away late.

    UCLA vs. Arizona final score prediction: Kansas 79, West Virginia 71

    MORE: The (Tobacco) Road To The Final Four – The Undervalued Mike Brey


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