It was ugly, but it was effective. Kansas took down #6 seed Texas on Thursday night to advance to the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. The trio of Devon Dotson, Dedric Lawson and David McCormack led the way for the Jayhawks. On paper, their road to a Big 12 title appears a bit easier than expected, as #10 seed West Virginia upset #2 Texas Tech on Thursday night. WVU finished last in the Big 12 this year with a conference record of 4-14.
Game Info and Notes:
- Friday, March 15th, 2019, 8:30 PM CDT
- Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
- ESPN2 or WatchESPN App
- Kansas split the season series with WVU this season, with both teams winning their home games.
- This is Kansas’ ninth appearance in the semifinals in the last 10 years. Kansas has advanced to the championship game in five of those times.
- WVU is the first team place as the lowest seed in the tournament to take down a top-two seed.
- Kansas is now 5-1 all-time in this event as the #3 seed. They hold a 13-6 record all-time in semifinal appearances.
About the Mountaineers
For as good WVU has been over the last couple of seasons, this year they have been a complete dumpster fire. At least, until this week. This season has been littered with injuries, suspensions and dismissals. That being said, they’ve caught fire here in the Big 12 Tournament, as they’ve knocked off #7 Oklahoma and #2 Texas Tech in games they controlled throughout the second half. The Jayhawks rolled over the Mountaineers in the last matchup on Feb. 16th in Lawrence.
Mountaineers to Watch
Derek Culver – Freshman, Forward, 6’10″
With all the injuries and dismissals, WVU has had to turn to a freshman in Culver. He’s registered double figures in 13 of the 23 contests played this season. He’s been held in check in the Big 12 Tournament, but it’d be hard to expect that three games in a row. Keep a look out for the freshman forward on Friday night.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. – Freshman, Forward, 6’7″
Matthews exploded for a career night against Texas Tech, as he scored a career-high 28 points on a career-best 10-of-14 from the floor. It’d be hard to expect that again from the young forward, but this is March and crazier things have happened.
Kansas 78 – West Virginia 67
West Virginia has made it this far, so I don’t expect this to be a cakewalk for KU. I’m sticking with the Jayhawks here, but WVU is going to make them work for it. It could be another ugly game just like the Texas contest was, but similarly, I like Kansas to pull out the W.
Our RCB Twitter account pointed this out after the game, and I had the same thought too, but David McCormack is having a little coming out party here at the end of the season and in the Big 12 tourney, just like Silvio De Sousa did last season. I like him to keep up his strong play and supplement was Dotson and Lawson have been doing all year long. Give me the Jayhawks to move on and face rival K-State in the title game.