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West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. Kansas Jayhawks Preview: Season 108 Episode 20 - The Vital One

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One is an occurrence, two is a coincidence, three is a trend...

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

OPENING THOUGHTS

So it’s been a tough few game to say the least. Morale is down, our national perception has dwindled, there seems to be little, if not no optimism to be found.

Believe it or not, we’ve been here before.

In February 2010, WVU was 5th in the country and 19-3 on the season. Their resume included wins over Ole Miss, Ohio State, and Pitt (at home). Then they hit a bit of a skid.

Bob Huggins then made some comments, and motivated the team to end the regular season on a three-game winning streak including wins over Georgetown and Villanova. This was the precursor to the greatest WVU postseason run in recent memory.

It’s time to get up off the ground, snap the skid, and make a run! It’s time to show the country that WE mean business.

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Tuesday, January 24th

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 PM ET

Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at West Virginia Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tickets: General Public ; WVU Students

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPN

Streaming Video: WatchESPN (or the WatchESPN app for smartphones)

Radio: WZST Variety 101 (100.9 FM in Morgantown) and the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Radio Affiliates)

Streaming Audio: Locate the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 84; XM 84

BRACKETOLOGY

MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
ESPN (Jan. 23) 4 Vermont Duke/Akron Buffalo, N.Y. (Mar. 16 & 18) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)
CBS (Jan. 23) 6 Rhode Island Oregon/Winthrop Sacramento, Calif. (Mar. 17 & 19) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)
NBC (Jan. 19) 4 Chattanooga Purdue/Akron Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 16 & 18) San Jose, Calif. (Mar. 23 & 25)
SB Nation (Jan. 24) 5 New Mexico State Virginia/Illinois State Greenville, S.C. (Mar. 17 & 19) New York (Mar. 24 & 26)

ODDS

Spread: WVU by 3 (Caesar's Palace)

O/U: 159.5 (Caesar’s Palace)

These are probably alternative facts...

Sean Spicer Holds Daily Press Briefing At The White House Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Lawrence, Kansas

Series History: Kansas leads the series 6-3

Last Time: No. 1 Kansas 81, No. 9 West Virginia 71 on March 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Mo.

SB Nation Blog: Rock Chalk Talk

Record: 18-1 (7-0 Big 12)

Bracketology:

MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
MEDIA SEED 1ST RD OPPONENT 2ND RD OPPONENT LOCATION REGION
ESPN (Jan. 23) 1 UNC Greensboro Minnesota/Virginia Tech Tulsa, Okla. (Mar. 17 & 19) Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 23 & 25)
CBS (Jan. 23) 1 Texas Southern USC/Pitt Tulsa, Okla. (Mar. 17 & 19) Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 23 & 25)
NBC (Jan. 19) 1 New Orleans/Weber State Michigan State/Clemson Tulsa, Okla. (Mar. 17 & 19) Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 23 & 25)
SB Nation (Jan. 24) 1 Texas Southern Middle Tennessee/Northwestern Tulsa, Okla. (Mar. 17 & 19) Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 23 & 25)

Record in 2015-16: 33-5 (15-3 Big 12); Lost to Villanova in the NCAA Elite Eight

Head Coach: Bill Self (“Cause this is Thriller, Thriller night; And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike...”)

NCAA Basketball: Armed Forces Classic-Indiana vs Kansas Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Limit turnovers. K-State beat West Virginia at their own game by exploiting sloppy ball handling by the likes of Nathan Adrian, Teyvon Myers and Sagaba Konate. The Mountaineers cannot allow the opportunity to give Kansas easy baskets.
  • Keep good free throw shooting consistent. WVU was 21 for 24 from the charity stripe against K-State on Saturday, their best performance all year. Jevon Carter missed two of his eight and Tarik Phillip missed one of his four. Other than that everyone was perfect. Let’s try to make this a regular thing.
  • Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson. These guys are responsible for a good portion of their scoring production, especially Mason. Josh Jackson is a little raw, but he’s going to be a NBA first round draft pick this summer.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

Ten. I’m as afraid of the Jayhawks as I am of the house at the end of the street.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

Despite our recent troubles, I think history is on our side. It won’t be a blowout and the game will be in doubt the entire time, but I think West Virginia will just barely escape with a win.

West Virginia 79, Kansas 75