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College Basketball Betting – (20) West Virginia at (9) Kansas

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in News

Updated Jan 17, 2018 · 9:40 AM PST

(20) West Virginia Mountaineers at (9) Kansas Jayhawks (-9, 140.5)

Thanks to Iowa State’s win over Oklahoma last night, the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks (23-6, 12-4 Big 12) have already captured a share of the Big 12 regular season title. Tonight, Bill Self’s squad can earn the title outright when they host the No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers (22-7, 10-6 Big 12) at Allen Fieldhouse (9:00 p.m. Eastern).

While pundits expected the Jayhawks to be a force in the Big 12, the young Mountaineers have surprised many, holding their own against more experienced powers. After losing three of four in early February, it looked like West Virginia’s youthful squad might crumble, but the team bounced back with  three straight wins, including a 62-61 upset over Kansas in Morgantown.

That winning streak came to an end on Saturday as the Mountaineers fell 78-66 at No. 19 Baylor. West Virginia came out sloppy in Waco and trailed by 16 at the break.

“We had nine turnovers in the first half and most of them were live ball turnovers. That killed us. That killed us in the first half,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said after the game. “You can’t make live ball turnovers. We just had guys who hadn’t been out there really by themselves. And it’s hard to make any adjustments.”

Despite the loss, the Mountaineers can move into a tie for second in the Big 12 – and keep their conference title hopes alive – with a win tonight.

But winning at Allen Fieldhouse is a tall order, indeed. The Jayhawks have yet to lose at home this season, posting a perfect 14-0 record. On the weekend, they edged Texas 69-64, leaning heavily on leading-scorer Perry Ellis, who had 28 points and 13 rebounds in the win.

“We rode Perry as hard as we’ve ever ridden him and he played great,” said Self after the game. “He’s playing as well as anybody in the country right now.”

Kansas is a nine-point favorite for tonight’s game; West Virginia, however, has covered the last two meetings in the series.

(Photo credit: Kevin Coles (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)

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