The No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks (26-7, 15-5 Big 12) and the No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers (24-9, 13-7 Big 12) square off in the Big 12 Conference Tourney at Sprint Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 10, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas Jayhawks Free Preview
In the Mountaineers last outing, they barely escaped the No. 14 Texas Tech Red Raiders, 66-63. Daxter Miles Jr. was the top scorer from either team with 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting. The Mountaineers had a turnover percentage of 12.4 (better than their season average of 13.5), while the Red Raiders had a free throw rate of 0.216 (below their season average of 0.284).
The Jayhawks hope to maintain momentum after defeating the Kansas State Wildcats in their last game, 83-67. With 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting, Malik Newman led Kansas in scoring. Kansas played a flawless game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 26.5 (below their season average of 29.4) and a free throw rate of 0.233 (above their season average of 0.185). For those same stats, Kansas State was 15.2 and 0.150, respectively.
This matchup pits one of the NCAA’s top offenses against one of its elite defenses. Kansas currently ranks 16th in offensive efficiency and West Virginia ranks 41st in defensive efficiency. Additionally, the Mountaineers rank fourth in offensive rebounding percentage (36.4 percent), while the Jayhawks rank 293rd in defensive rebounding percentage (68.7 percent).
These two teams have met twice already this season, with the Jayhawks winning both. Devonte Graham had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the most recent matchup, in which the Jayhawks topped the Mountaineers 77-69. One of Kansas biggest strengths was getting to the charity stripe. They had 35 free throw attempts, while West Virginia had just two.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas Jayhawks Odds Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Kansas, ATS Winner – Kansas, O/U – Over
- The Mountaineers rank 12th in steals per game (8.1) while the Jayhawks rank 95th (6.6).
- Kansas ranks 13th in assists per game (17.0) while West Virginia ranks 73rd in assists allowed per game (12.1).
- West Virginia ranks 52nd in three pointers attempted per game (24.9) while Kansas ranks 243rd in three pointers allowed per game (23.7).
- The Jayhawks average 4.3 blocks per game, which ranks 50th in the nation. The Mountaineers rank 183rd in blocks allowed per game (4.0).
- West Virginia averages 37.9 rebounds per game, which ranks 60th in the nation. Kansas ranks 157th in rebounds allowed per game (35.1).
- The Jayhawks average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.8, down from 10.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Mountaineers have scored an average of 78.4 points per game (1.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 71.8 points per game (3.2 above their season average).