The West Virginia Mountaineers will put their perfect 12-0 home record on the line Wednesday night when they host the Kansas Jayhawks. The Mountaineers are currently ranked 14th in the nation and boast a record of 18-5 overall and are 6-4 in league play.
The Jayhawks are winners of eight games in a row and six in a row on the road. They are currently ranked No. 3 with a sparkling 20-3 record overall and 9-1 in league play.
In the previous matchup between these teams on Jan. 4, Kansas held West Virginia to just 53 points in a 60-53 victory. The total was the fewest amount of points that West Virginia has put on the board all season, as it shot just 3-of-14 from three, 16-of-45 from two, and 12-of-22 from the free-throw line.
Despite all of that, the Mountaineers were able to stay within single digits almost the entire game. The largest lead Kansas ever had in that game was nine points, which came with 13 seconds to play in the game.
Looking at the injury report for this game, West Virginia may have Sean McNeil for this game. The 6-3 guard had missed the last couple of games due to illness, but his return would give the Mountaineers another capable shooter on the perimeter.
There are currently no significant injuries for the Jayhawks, but Silvio De Sousa is suspended. He was a non-factor in the first game, so it should not be a huge issue.
West Virginia is a two-point favorite at home, with the over/under set at 135.
Underdog For The First Time
Wednesday night will mark the first time all season that the Kansas Jayhawks will be getting points. Kansas has been good on the road both straight up (7-1) as well as against the spread (6-2) this season.
The Jayhawks are 13-10 ATS on the season, including 12-6 in their last 18 games.
On the road this season, the Kansas total has gone under in every single game. Kansas is 7-1 in its last eight games against West Virginia, but just 2-5 playing in Morgantown since 2010-11.
As stated, West Virginia has yet to lose at home. Of course, the Mountaineers have yet to face a team as talented as Kansas in the friendly confines.
The Mountaineers are also 13-10 against the spread this season and have gone under in eight of their 12 home games this season. They are 8-4 ATS at home and 10-5 ATS in their last 15 games.
West Virginia has been somewhat shaky in recent weeks, going just 4-3 straight up in its last seven games, but such is life in the gauntlet that is the Big 12.
A Battle In Morgantown
These two teams are the cream of the Big 12 this season along with Baylor, with all the makings of a fantastic three-game series assuming they meet in the conference tournament. The first game total was only 113, and the two teams love to hit the under in these situations. It is the easiest wager of the matchup.
The West Virginia frontcourt does boast more depth, and it will be paramount for Udoka Azubuike to stay out of foul trouble for Kansas. He has done well so far this season, averaging a career-low 2.4 fouls per game, but as mentioned, De Sousa will not be available. De Sousa had three fouls in just seven minutes in the first game.
Expect West Virginia to pound the ball inside as it has all season and get the win at home, making free throws at the end to secure the cover.