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Six games stand in between No. 9 Kansas and its 11th straight Big 12
title, although No. 20 West Virginia can do its part to help stop that
run. The Mountaineers hope to avoid their fourth defeat in their last
five games on Monday when they host the Jayhawks in the first of two
meetings over the next 16 days. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was
critical of everything from his team’s performance to the officiating as
the Mountaineers fell apart late in Saturday’s 79-59 loss at Iowa
“We’ve relied on turning people over and offensive
rebounds and we got neither (Saturday). … The way this whole thing is
structured from officiating to the whole deal, I think we just stand
five guys in the lane and hope they don’t make shots,” said Huggins
after the Cyclones shot 18 more free throws than West Virginia. Kansas
won for the seventh time in its last eight contests on Saturday,
preserving its two-game edge over Iowa State by rallying from a 13-point
first-half deficit at home to upend Baylor. The Jayhawks will try to
avenge their last trip to Morgantown, where they nearly overcame a
25-point second-half deficit last March before falling 92-86.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT KANSAS (21-4, 10-2 Big 12): Perry Ellis (team highs of 13.1
points, seven rebounds) became the 56th player in school history to
surpass 1,000 career points with 18 on Saturday. Highly-touted freshman
Kelly Oubre Jr. (8.5 points) enjoyed his best performance in nearly a
month with 18 points, halting a six-game stretch in which totaled 39 –
16 of which came in a Feb. 2 win against Iowa State. Kansas also got
solid play from 6-10, 240-pound sophomore Landen Lucas, who tied a
career high with nine points and has seemingly worked his way into the
rotation over the last four games after not seeing any court time in
three of the previous four.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (19-6, 7-5): Although
the Mountaineers have forced at least 16 turnovers in all but one game
and lead the country with 21.3, Huggins indicated on his postgame radio
show that he could back off his full-court pressure defense. “My
frustration is I thought we were going to be a pretty decent half-court
defensive team and we’re awful. I think the full-court stuff has (eaten)
away at our half-court defense,” said Huggins, whose team ranks 10th in
the conference in field-goal percentage defense (45.8). West Virginia
is allowing opponents to shoot 57.3 percent from the field while going
1-3 over its last four contests.
*Jayhawks are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
*Mountaineers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
*Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
*Under is 5-2 in Jayhawks last 7 road games.