Game 19: No. 23 Kansas at No. 17 West Virginia – Preview and Prediction

The No. 23 Kansas Jayhawks look to make it two in a row on Saturday afternoon as they take on West Virginia in Morgantown. Kansas defeated the Mountaineers in the first meeting back on December 22nd, 79-65, in what was perhaps Kansas’ best game of the conference slate. WVU comes in playing well as of late, as they are winners of three of their last four. A loss here for KU would put their ranked streak of 231 weeks in jeopardy.

  • Saturday, February 6th, 2021, 1:00 PM CDT
  • WVU Coliseum – Morgantown, West Virginia 
  • CBS
  • No. 23/22 Kansas (12-6, 6-4) hits the road to face No. 17/18 West Virginia (12-5, 5-3) on Saturday, Feb. 6. The game will begin at 1 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on CBS.
  • West Virginia will be the ninth ranked team Kansas will face in 2020-21. KU is 4-4 versus ranked foes this season.
  • Kansas enters the West Virginia contest No. 4 in NET strength of schedule, which is first in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have led NCAA Division I in NET SOS each of the last two seasons and five times under head coach Bill Self (2005, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020).
  • Junior Ochai Agbaji is second in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.6 and is second in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.0%. Agbaji has made 33 threes in his last 12 games.
  • With the consecutive weeks being ranked at 231, which is an NCAA record, the Kansas-West Virginia contest will be the 433rd-straight game KU will play as a ranked team, a streak which started Feb. 2, 2009. 
  • Four of Kansas’ six losses have been to ranked teams and the other two losses are to teams that have moved into the top 25 of either the Associated Press or Coaches’ polls.

Mountaineers to Watch

Miles McBride  – 6’2”, sophomore, guard

McBride paces the Mountaineers in scoring at 15.1 PPG. He’s also been a much more effective three-point shooter than he was last year as a freshman, as he’s upped his 3PT% from 30.4 percent to 41.3 percent. McBride also leads WVU in assists and minutes at 4.4 APG and 33.4 MPG respectively. In the first matchup with KU, McBride had 19 points on 8-for-16 from the field.

Derek Culver – 6’10”, junior, forward

Culver is a load down low, as he’s averaging a double-double this season at 14.0 PPG and 10.4 RPG.  KU will need some solid minutes out of David McCormack and Co. in order to slow down Culver. Culver had eight points and eight boards against the Jayhawks back on December 22nd.

Jayhawk Pick to Click
David McCormack – 6’10”, junior, forward
McCormack went for a double-double in KU’s first contest with WVU with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He’s been one of KU’s more consistent players over the last eight games, as he’s averaging 15.8 PPG in that span. The junior forward went for 18 and 10 in Tuesday’s win over K-State. 

Prediction

Kansas looked much improved against K-State, as they dominated from start to finish. With that said, K-State is probably the worst power-conference team in the NCAA, so you have to take that into account. Before that win, Kansas did look pretty poor and that is still fresh in my mind and still holds more weight for me than a blow out of K-State.

Morgantown also has been a house of horrors for KU in the past, so I’m going with West Virginia. They have been playing better lately as well. I just don’t trust the Jayhawks’ offense to go on the road against a competent defense and hit enough threes to win. David McCormack out-played Derek Culver in the first matchup, and if he does that again, KU will have a good shot. But Culver is more consistent, and I think West Virginia will hit enough threes to escape. I’ll take the Mountaineers in a close one, but WVU pulls away late and covers. (I’ve been cold on picks lately, so feel free to fade me). 

West Virginia 74, Kansas 66
WVU -2

BONUS PICK: Kansas City Chiefs 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK

Season Record: 12-6 (9-9 ATS)

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.